To anyone in attendance at this year’s CES in Las Vegas, it was clear that TCL is a company with lofty ambitions. Billboards and bus-stops all around Vegas constantly highlighted and proclaimed the company’s status as “America’s Fastest Growing TV Brand”.
However, that’s not to say that the company don’t have similar ambitions elsewhere. We caught up with TCL Electronics Australia’s National Sales Director Jason Carrick to talk about what the company’s CES announcements mean for the local market.
To start with, can you give us a snapshot of what TCL's presence in the Australian market looks like? What's your market share like and what features you have found matter most to Australian customers?
Jason: “Premium valued offering with a range from basic through to premium QLED in all sizes. We hold a market share of 6-9% on any given week in the market with design quality, smart interface and value most important to Australians.”
During the TCL press conference, a growing demand for larger (65-inch+) TVs was cited. Does that trend apply to the Australian market?
“Definitely TCL have a big focus on larger and smarter screens in the 55 inch and above categories.”
TCL are one of the few major TV vendors to embrace the QLED. Why do you think that is and do you think that your TVs represent a serious threat to the "premium QLED" being offered by Samsung?
“QLED has the ability to produce much brighter pictures and more natural colours with Quantum Dot technology. TCL is definitely putting pressure on other brands in the market as they are now a supreme valued premium offer.”
The Roku/Google Home enabled soundbar was a highlight of your press conference. Why isn't it coming to the Australian market?
“We don’t have access to Roku in Australia at the moment and with our current premium range having a quality Harmon Kardon soundbar already built in we plan to focus on driving sales in these premium TV sets.”
Your partnership with Harmon Kardon sees you integrate soundbars into your TV. Do you feel that this takes away from the appeal of a standalone soundbar?
“For our series with soundbar built in, the consumer has no need for an external soundbar because our sound is professionally tuned by Harmon Kardon. They will never replace a full home theatre system, but are certainly offering the best sound out of a standalone television.”
Any plans to offer an OLED TV? Many other vendors are making that technological pivot, why haven't you?
“We are currently focussed on QLED along with Samsung. This technology offers picture advantages that OLED cannot, with a longer life expectancy and less waste in manufacturing of the product.”
Dolby Vision support isn't coming to the C6 and P6 Series but is going to be available for the range's US counterparts, why?
“Dolby Vision is yet to be decided for the whole Australian range. This will be determined in the coming month. We need to consider the availability of content and other factors to make the appropriate decision.”
For the full run-down on everything that happened at this year's CES in Las Vegas, click here.
Disclosure - Our coverage of CES 2018 was sponsored by Intel, Belkin and Alcatel - who collectively covered the cost of our flights and accommodation.