Hisense hits out at rival Smart TV suppliers, tells retailers to upsell

By Patrick Avenell

On the eve of the consumer electronics biggest trade fare, Hisense Australia marketing manager Andre Iannuzzi has hit out at rival TV brands for using proprietary operating systems for their Smart TVs, rather than open source platforms.

Furthermore, Iannuzzi called on retailers to promote and support the premium end of the TV category.

In a pre-CES statement, Iannuzzi criticised brands such as Samsung and LG for using a bespoke operating system on their Smart TVs.  

“Just as the mobile and IT environments are moving towards open-source content, the demand for unrestricted content on smart TVs is growing,” Iannuzzi said. “Customers want to be able to download content and apps without being restricted by in-house platforms.

“The Android platform is used by mobile users all over the world and the Smart TV market should reflect that. Retailers should be looking to stock models that allow users the freedom to access content through Android and not those that restrict them to in-house, branded apps alone.”

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Meanwhile, Hisense had called for more retail support for premium brands and premium TV models, citing 55 inches as the watershed between premium and otherwise. This may surprise some in the industry, as Hisense is traditionally regarded as a Tier 2 brand, with only Sony, Samsung, LG and Panasonic broadly regarded as being at the so-called ‘premium end’.

Hisense will launch a new range of 3D and Smart TVs at the 2013 International CES, while Hisense is also tipped to be one of the first Chinese brands to release an Ultra HD TV into the Australian market. Currently, only LG and Sony have released an Ultra HD TV, which is twice the resolution of a Full HD TV.

“The 55-inch TV category has been one of the leading growth sectors, with sales units up 36 per cent, [when] comparing the past two years of sales,” said Iannuzzi. “As the overall TV market dropped by 15 per cent in the same time period, premium TVs should continue to be a major investment point for retailers.”

Current.com.au will be reporting live from the 2013 International CES from Monday 7 January 2013.

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