KOLKATA: The Rs 22,000-crore LED television market is heading for a price war with the big three — LG, Samsung and Sony — cutting prices by as much as 15% due to increased competition and as they seek to gain market share.
The price cut, the steepest ever, comes at a time when the top three are facing growing threat from smaller brands like Micromax, Intex, TCL, BPL and Sansui that are selling their products at prices that are Rs 2,000-10,000 cheaper, three senior industry executives said.
Consumers, too, are showing readiness to buy these brands that are online-exclusive or are available both online and offline, much like in the smartphone market. They are also increasingly changing their TV sets every four-five years, as prices of largescreen models plunge and companies upgrade technology. LG, Samsung and Sony together control around 80% of the Indian LED TV market, but others are now capturing share slowly.
“Globally, there has been no decrease in prices of LED televisions, but the big brands are under pressure to reduce prices in India due to sales taking a hit with several brands entering the market and playing on price. This is across television sizes, but the maximum focus is on the 32-42-inch segment, which alone accounts for over 55% of the market,” said the chief of a leading television maker.
In a communication to trade, LG India attributed the price drop to “drive sellout velocity and gain market share”.
Sony and Samsung said they have not dropped prices in the 32-inch segment. A Sony spokesperson said some price correction was done in large screen sizes due to those models reaching end-of-life
Samsung India’s vice-president Rajeev Bhutani said it, in fact, increased prices due to panel prices going up. However, retail executives said it dropped prices in some of the models after earlier raising those.
Rishi Tandon, senior general manager for home entertainment at LG India, said while competition is always good, the TV market continues to be dominated by the top three players and the overall contribution and market share of smaller brands have not changed significantly. He said LG has further strengthened its market share.
The head of a durable retail chain said consumers are now open to buying television sets which are available at value pricing. Over 25 brands are now available in the market and many more are planning to enter, he said.
“The television industry in India is going the smartphone way and more price war may erupt,” he added. In the past one year, brands like Sanyo, TCL, Noble Skiodo, Polaroid, LeEco and Kodak entered the Indian market, while those like Onida and Sansui became price warriors. Local handset makers such as Micromax and Intex, too, decided to focus more on the television and appliances market with Chinese companies denting their market share in smartphones.