AOC India, a wholly owned subsidiary of Chinese TV manufacturer TPV Technology, has launched for the Indian market a 15.6 inch LED backlit LCD TV model at the price of Rs.6,990 ($117; €82). The 1366 x 768 resolution HD TV set has a USB port with direct playback capability, HDMI and VGA inputs, as well as a Child Lock feature. The launch of this set will be accompanied by a 1 billion Rupee ($17m; €13m) product marketing campaign to be conducted by AOC in the Indian and South Asian markets over the next 6 months.
India is one of the last remaining bastions of substantial CRT TV sales, where about 7 million units in 2012 were sold broadly to non-middle class, lower income consumers. Nonetheless, millions of Indian households have yet to own a single TV, due to a lack of competitively priced LCD TVs rather than a lack of demand in the absolute. As many large, global manufacturers pull out of CRT TV production, total TV shipments have declined, and the shortfall in CRT shipments has not been offset by sufficiently strong growth in comparably-priced LCD sets.
With this in mind, AOC's positioning of its new 15.6-inch TV looks sensible. The pricing of the model is well placed strategically, and lies within the range where most CRT TVs currently retail, between Rs.3,000-Rs.8,000 ($50-$134; €38-€102). This should allow AOC to pick up the purchases of low budget consumers still largely purchasing the CRT TVs that most major manufacturers have been phasing out of production.
The only other LCD TV model currently being offered in the Indian market at a similar price is Akai's 15 inch Cutie, whose suggested retail price is Rs.7,990 ($134; €102), but is typically sold at around Rs.7,000($118; €89). Both models cross the Rs.10,000 ($167; €128) mark that Akai themselves proved significant during the mid-1990s, when they successfully propagated colour CRT TVs below this price for the first time through the Indian mass market.. The potential success of these models in capturing the lower budget end of the Indian TV market may also escalate price competition like Akai did during the mid-1990s, inducing other manufacturers like LG, Samsung and Onida, to introduce similar, smaller screen models to more effectively target the same demographic.