Exclusive: TCL failed to deliver their first 8K TV

The brand remain silent about when their first 8K model will come to Australia

Credit: TCL

TCL previously announced that they’d be bringing their first 8K TV to Australia in May but, more than six months later, local availability for the TCL X10 has yet to materialise.

Announced at CES 2019, the TCL X10 is a 75-inch 8K QLED TV with support for both HDR10+ and Dolby Vision. It also features a built-in Onkyo sound system and support for both Amazon and Google smart assistants. As far as premium home entertainment gear goes, this thing looks like a beast with all the bells & whistles you could want and a large-screen format that promises an excellent viewing experience.

As reported in May, TCL initially slated their first 8K TV for an Australian launch in September of 2019. At that time, Mark Zhang, General Manager of TCL Australia, said that  “8K TVs have been on the lips of everyone in the tech world and are at the forefront of at-home entertainment.”

However, months after that September launch date, the company's first 8K TV cannot be found on the TCL Australia website. It's not available through either of Australia's two big electronics retailers (JB Hi-Fi and Harvey-Norman)  and, from what as best we can tell, the TCL X10 might have never been officially listed on the local website at all.

On its own, that detail might not add up to anything but it’s hardly uncommon for consumer tech brands like TCL to set up landing pages for anticipated products ahead of time. For example, LG have long had a page on their website for the yet-to-be-launched OLED-R where potential customers can register to be updated when the product does launch.

In light of the fact that TCL failed to launch the X10 in September as previously promised, the absence of any sort of coming soon page is something of a bad look. Even if we choose to be generous, it invites unfavorable speculation.

At face value (and in this cynical editor's opinion), it sure "seems" like TCL sent out a press release to local tech media outlets like PC World to snag themselves some positive headlines about their first 8K TV - which they succeeded at doing - without having first secured the relevant distribution agreements needed to bring the X10 to the Australian market. Either that or they scuttled plans to bring the X10 to the region altogether.

PC World reached out to TCL for clarity on why the X10 missed its original September launch date but did not hear back in time for publication.

It's also possible that something has gone awry on the distribution side of things and TCL have kept quiet about the delay to avoid the potential bad press. Regardless, it’s the kind of corporate behavior that inevitably leaves us a little skeptical about covering the brand in the future.

Whatever the reason, TCL have outright failed to deliver on what they previously promised their Australian customers and their approach after the fact has seemingly come down to hoping that nobody would notice. 

Beyond just being a bad look, TCL’s ongoing caginess about whether Australians will ever get their first 8K leaves us reticent to put much stock in any promises or product announcements the company are gearing up to make at next year’s CES in Las Vegas. 

We reached out to TCL Australia’s local agency and TCL Australia themselves for clarification about when or if local customers should expect the X10 to launch in Australia and New Zealand, the reasons for the delay and whether or not TCL had secured distribution at the time of their May announcement but did not hear back in time for publication.

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Fergus Halliday
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