Sharp executive: Not concerned about Apple iTV launch in the U.S.

The Osaka-based company's head of U.S. operations said consumers are more interested in size and reliability than technology

A Sharp executive said Thursday he was not concerned with the introduction of a rumored "iTV" designed by Steve Jobs and other smart TVs in the U.S. market, and that his company is focused on selling large-screen sets with traditional features.

"I really have no idea what kind of TV it will be. But if he came up with it, I'm sure it will be amazing. When we see it, we may well be caught by surprise, but currently it's not something we're studying very hard," said Kozo Takahashi, who heads Sharp's operations in North and South America.

He made the comments during a press conference in Osaka that was shown to reporters in Tokyo, as he explained Sharp's television strategy in the U.S. Apple is rumored to have an advanced TV in the pipeline for next year, as are rivals Samsung and LG. Takahashi had no comment on media reports Apple is working with Sharp to develop the new device.

In Jobs' biography written by Walter Isaacson, the late executive at one point declares that he's designed an easy-to-use television that eliminates the need for complex remote controls and peripherals, saying, "I finally cracked it."

But Takahashi said U.S. consumers are more focused on price, picture quality and reliability than advanced technology. Sharp's strategy in the country is relatively straightforward: Go large. The company is currently running ads aimed at purchases for Super Bowl Sunday that show an 80-inch TV and read "Touchdownormous."

"Americans are just not as interested in the technology as Japanese are," he said. "Those that buy large TVs want to have all of the features, even if they don't use them. They want 3D even if they don't plan to watch it, and they want Internet connectivity even if they have no real intention to use it."

He said Sharp was likely to beat its target for selling a million TVs that are 60 inches or larger in the Americas in the fiscal year through March, and the market appears to be growing stronger after a good showing on Black Friday.

Sharp has a distinct advantage over competitors when it comes to TVs with larger screens. The company owns massive factories in Japan that churn out giant-sized LED panels that can be efficiently divided up into screens for sets sized 60 inches and larger, while competitors must purchase them from outside producers or use less efficient smaller panels.

The Osaka-based company was the world's fifth-largest flat-panel TV maker by revenues in the July-September quarter, according to data vendor DisplaySearch. Sharp is also a major OEM supplier to other TV manufacturers.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags sharpconsumer electronicsTVs

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jay Alabaster

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

Bitdefender solutions stop attacks before they even begin! Get cybersecurity that 500 MILLION users already have and trust.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?