Sony, who today kicked off a major marketing campaign in Australia for their consumer electronics range, have said that they are set to slash the price of their TVs around the world due to rising inventory levels however there is no news on when this will happen in Australia.
The head of Sony’s loss-making TV division said last night that the price of a Bravia TV is likely to fall before the end of the year. In Australia Sony has been cutting TV prices all year as they introduce low cost models made by third party manufacturers in China and Taiwan as opposed to models made by Sony or Sharp.
Yesterday Sony announced a deal with Foxconn the suicide plagued Company that makes products for Apple.
His comments came hours after LG Display, the world’s No. 2 LCD flat screen maker, reported its worst operating profit in six quarters on sliding prices for panels.
“I think TV prices as a whole will, of course, fall. There is a lot of inventory in the market,” Vice President Yoshihisa Ishida said in Japan, yesterday.
His comments were made as Sony attempts to turn around its TV business, which has been unprofitable for the last six straight fiscal years.
Yesterday Sony Australia launched a major marketing campaign wrapped around the slogan “All I Want for Christmas”. It will include a 60-minute TV program “integrating” several of Sony’s consumer electronics products.
Toby Barbour, general manager of consumer marketing Sony Australia, is reported to have said: “It’s an actual lifestyle program that will run across six sectors with two hour-long programs of which we’ll feature strongly in one using our brand ambassadors like Tom Williams, who will really drive through the tech focus. We want to present a solution, a reason to buy, and create plenty of demand to drive those sales for retailers and Sony for Christmas,” said Barbour.
The problem for Sony is that sales of TVs are falling and the company, who bet their corporate future on a world of 3D have found that consumers are not buying 3D TVs due to a dislike of 3D glasses and a lack of 3D content.
Ishida has admitted that things are tough at Sony. “But what is different from the past is that we cannot necessarily rely on unit sales rising,” he said.
“We cannot be sure that manipulating prices will mean the market expands again,” he said.
Ishida said Sony, the world’s third-largest maker of flat TVs after Samsung and LG Electronics, would have to reconsider pricing for many of their TVs, including its new Google TV which has not yet been launched in Australia. It is tipped for 2011.
Research firm DisplaySearch says it expects LCD TV shipments in 2010 to grow to 188 million units world-wide, up from 145 million in 2009, as strong growth in Japan, Asia Pacific and emerging markets offset weaknesses in markets like the USA.
Another research firm, iSuppli, expects global TV shipments to accelerate in the second half of this year due to aggressive price cuts, even on products with new features such as 3-D TVs.
Mr. Ishida said the Internet TVs represent a new business model for Sony. Instead of making money by just selling hardware, the TVs can continue to generate revenue through downloadable software and paid content, he said.
However he gave no indication when the new TV will be launched in the Australian or European markets.
In Australia, Sony has struggled to hang onto TV Market share. However, in recent months the company has clawed back share resulting in Samsung’s TV business coming under pressure.
Their new campaign will also be rolled out in print, online as well as via in-store retail promotions.
Consumers will be offered a 3D entertainment pack with the purchase of a Bravia 3D TV, a bonus battery with a Cyber-shot camera purchase, and five bonus Blu-ray discs with the purchase of a Blu-ray home theatre system.