Bye, Bye Sharp TVs! Hello, Hisense’s Sharp TVs!

It’s a sign of the times and somewhat shocking because of its suddenness but not surprising because of the long term trend of Chinese companies expanding their efforts in branded CE gear.

Chinese maker of TV sets, Hisense, is ramping up its efforts in the Americas while a Japanese set maker, Sharp, is exiting the market.

Sharp has made its way in the States by selling large-screen, high-quality TV sets but it is withdrawing from the Americas’ market by selling its factory in Mexico to Hisense for a paltry $23.7 million, which will include the right to use the Sharp name on TV sets in the Americas.

Sharp screen

Sharp’s new strategy: TVs out, solar panels in

 

Sharp said it “has not been able to fully adapt to the intensifying market competition, which led to significantly lower profits compared to the initial projections for the previous fiscal year, and has been suffering from poor earnings performance.” That can be translated as: Samsung, LG and Vizio have driven Sharp from the Americas’ TV market and the specter of the coming Chinese onslaught in TVs – from the likes of Hisense, TCL, Haier and Changhong – is more than Sharp thinks it can overcome.

Sharp CEO Kozo Takahashi said two months ago that TVs would remain a core part of the company and were an essential component of Sharp’s turnaround plans. Instead, Sharp said it will focus on CE gear other than TVs such as solar panels and display panels. Sharp has been bailed out by the banks twice in the last three years.

Hisense sells major appliances, white goods, TVs, tablets and laptops and PCs in 130 countries and reported revenue of $2.6 billion last year.

The Online Reporter recently tested Hisense’s UHD TV – $600 for a 50-inch UHD TV – and found it above average in most aspects except for its ability to upscale non-4K videos as well as the other UHD TVs we have used. One of Sharp’s areas of expertise has been upscaling as evidenced by its Quattron technology, which adds a fourth sub-pixel into the traditional RGB video architecture. Sharp describes it as “beyond 4K ultra HD.”

It appears that Walmart has an exclusive deal…

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