Hisense launching Ultra HD, Google TV, laundry and Android fridges in Australia

By Patrick Avenell in Las Vegas

Hisense Australia today revealed it will be bringing its new XT880 range of Ultra HD LED TVs to Australia by the end of April 2013. This range comprises 50-, 58- and 65-inch models at prices described as considerably more affordable than the current release Ultra HD models.

By the end of June 2013, Hisense will release its new 84-inch Ultra HD TV, which features grid lighting and ‘microdimming’ instead of edge lighting for better image quality, resulting in a slightly thicker frame than some of the premium models in this space.

Also in June, Hisense will launch its native Google TV model, the XT780 Ultra HD LED, in Australia. This will be preceded by the release of the Pulse Google TV box, which can transform most existing TVs into Google TVs. This box currently retails online in the United States for $99; Current.com.au understands it will be a similar price in Australia.

In addition to Google TV, Hisense also has a new proprietary Smart TV offer, included in new LED and Ultra HD TVs in 42 inches and above. Hisense Smart TV includes facial recognition, voice and gesture control, and Multi Screen Play between the TV, smartphones and tablets.

Also unveiled at its CES stand was a Hisense 110-inch Ultra HD TV. Hisense Australia marketing manager Andre Iannuzzi said the local office was “looking at this model for Australia”.

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In Hisense’s nascent appliance range, Iannuzzi revealed to Current.com.au that the Chinese company will be entering the laundry appliance market with washers and dryers in March 2013. Hisense’s existing refrigeration range is being expanded in 2013 to include side-by-side models during the first half of the year and French Door Fridges in August.

One of the new side-by-side models is expected to be Hisense’s Android refrigerator which, through a connection to the internet and a Hisense app, can control and monitor the appliance. Iannuzzi said Hisense is investigating putting a barcode reader on the door to scan items as they are entered. The screen on this fridge has full Android functionality, with users able to download apps from Google Play.

Another new category for Hisense Australia could be tablets – Iannuzzu said the subsidiary was carefully considering introducing Hisense’s new 10-inch and 7-inch Android tablets, and that there had been encouragement from local retail partners for them to do so. The 7-inch model in this range also has telephone functionality, making it appear to be an even bigger version of the Samsung Galaxy Note II.

All of these new products and categories build into Hisense’s desire for a much greater brand presence in Australia.

“We have put together a national training program for more branding and are developing Hisense branded walls within some of our retail partner’s stores,” Iannuzzi said. “We aim to implement ‘store-in-store’ concepts during 2013.”

CES delegates check out Hisense's new native Google TV.

Hisense's 7-inch smartphone/tablet.

A Hisense staffmember demonstrates its new Android smart side-by-side refrigerator.

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