New QLED TV reflects pinnacle of innovation: Samsung

In conversation: Raju Pullan, Sr. VP, Consumer Electronics, Samsung India

Raju Pullan

Global markets are witnessing steady growth in smart LED TVs. Like the transition we have seen from 3G to 4G phones, televisions with advances such as 8K, higher refresh rates, HDR (high dynamic range), and larger screen sizes, now appear enticing to consumers who wish to upgrade their sets to high-end smart LED TVs.

This shift is being leveraged by Samsung, which is scaling the company’s LED TV portfolio, particularly the luxury segment worldwide including India. Considering the fact that India is a price-sensitive market and there is very little 8K high-resolution content to consume, how the company expects to see growth in this sector is a curious case. In a chat with Rohit KVN of DH, Raju Pullan, Senior Vice President, Consumer Electronics, Samsung India explains the company’s new strategy. Edited excerpts:

What is the stand-out feature in Samsung’s latest 8K QLED range?

Samsung has been the number one TV manufacturer for 13 years, globally and in India. With the latest QLED 8K TVs, Samsung has added luxury to TV viewing. This amalgamation of art and technology brings many new features like Real 8K resolution, AI Upscaling, Quantum Processor 8K, Ambient Mode, One Connect Box – One Invisible connection – 100% Color Volume and One Remote Control – Zero Gap Wall Mount.

Samsung’s proprietary 8K AI Upscaling technology based on machine learning upscales picture and sound quality to 8K regardless of the original source quality or format. The newly launched QLED 8K TVs come with 8K AI upscaling technology. It allows the consumers to enjoy just about any movie or TV show on any channel in 8K resolution regardless of native resolution or method of transmission. Our main differentiators, regardless of any product include in-depth innovation and customer-centric approach. With this new range, we aim to take one step forward in delivering the best picture quality along with exceptional viewing experience. 

Can you tell us the reasons to buy ultra-high-resolution TVs?


Samsung's new 8K QLED TV

Samsung’s new QLED TVs are a combination of premium aesthetics and life-like visuals which has prompted many consumers to rethink how they assess a TV’s immersive qualities.

Today, there is an abundance of good quality HD content to choose from, which deserves to be screened in an equally sophisticated television. The new Samsung QLED 8K TVs, equipped with Real 8K resolution, 8K AI Upscaling, Quantum Processor 8K, and Quantum HDR, provides this stunning 8K experience.

Samsung’s proprietary 8K AI Upscaling technology based on machine learning upscales picture and sound quality to 8K regardless of the original source quality or format. The TV breaks new ground for ultra-premium TVs and home entertainment, delivering a beautiful design that is supported by the most advanced picture quality in its portfolio. The enhanced offering challenges the normal conventions and redefines how consumers should watch content on their TVs. 

How’s the reception to Samsung’s 8K TV series in the Indian market?

Affordability is not the only factor that attracts customers to a brand. Today’s discerning consumers look for brand’s value proposition, technology prowess, and after-sales service while arriving at a purchase decision. 

With the new QLED 8K, we empower the consumers to experience a world beyond conventional television. Our approach lies in Upsizing the TV market in India with a bigger and better premium range, which offers revolutionary picture quality with 8K resolution (QLED).

In the past few years with increasing economic prosperity, we have seen people migrating to higher-value products and upgrading their lifestyle. The exposure to global technologies and lifestyle has created a perception shift and consumer durables are not just viewed as utility products anymore.

Another interesting trend is that today premiumisation is not limited to just metros but even Tier-II and Tier-III markets have shown a sizeable appetite for premium products. The consumers are willing to pay a premium for products that add value to their lives. 

What is the current market growth? What expectations for the near future?

Our overall market share for televisions is 30% and we aim to achieve 34% by Diwali with a focus across segments. The market share in QLED television with respect to the 75-inch & above segments was at 53% (March-end) and our target is to reach 70% by this Diwali. With respect to QLED, we have 47% (March-end) and foresee to achieve the target of 55% by Diwali. For UHD we have attained 36% (March) and expect to reach 40%.

In the month of May, just ahead of the World Cup, we saw sales of 55-inch and above TVs, which include the company’s QLED TV line up and Ultra High Definition TV line up, grow over 110% over last year. Samsung has also seen the sale of ultra-premium 75-inch and above TVs grow five times in the same period, indicating consumer preference for larger screen TVs to enjoy the World Cup. The cricket fever this year has led to Indians migrating to larger screens not just in metro cities but in smaller towns as well. Samsung has seen customers in smaller towns such as Vijayawada, Vishakhapatnam, and Hubballi among others.

When can we expect Bixby voice-control support for Samsung TVs in India?

Samsung’s 2019 QLED TV lineup allows users to take voice control one step further with the new Bixby feature along with other voice assistants like Google Assistant to access this content through voice commands; all at a press of the microphone button on the TV remote. The Far Field Voice Capability feature on the OneRemote enables the users to use voice commands to control their TV from across the room. Currently, we have integrated Indian English with Bixby which is slated to be rolled out from August 2019.

Is there any more room for innovation in premium TV space?

Samsung has always been at the forefront of providing meaningful customer-centric innovations. We were the first to launch Curved TV, Curved UHD TV, SUHD, QLED TV and QLED 8K TV which are a part of the premium TV space.

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