Hisense had taken a new location in hall 6.2 this year, next to new partner Loewe. The company was putting its more prominent stand to good use, and its press conference – the company’s first international one in Berlin – was very busy.
EVP Lan Lin discussed the recent history of Hisense. 45 years since its foundation in 1969, the company is the largest manufacturer of consumer electronics in China, with 75,000 employees worldwide. It manufactures 50 million TVs and an equal number of smartphones every year – and a lot of appliances, too.
Hisense has an 18.5% market share in China, making it the country’s largest TV maker. It is also the 4th-largest TV manufacturer worldwide (5.7% share) and has a share of more than 20% in UltraHD TVs. Hisense is expecting 215% revenue growth between 2007 and 2014; international growth of 412% between 2008 and 2014; and European growth of 712% between 2011 (the start of own-brand sales) and 2014, to almost $200 million. Hisense’s brand identity is also climbing, with a corresponding increase in revenue. From less than 10% of the $7.3 million made internationally in 2007, the company now expects that 50% of its $3.1 billion total will be generated by own-brand products this year.
Significant time was devoted to Hisense’s partnership with the Schalke 04 Bundesliga team (Display Monitor Vol 21 No 30). The team is to renew the videocube in its stadium (the largest in Europe) soon, and will work with Hisense on this.
The Sero 5 flagship smartphone was introduced. It will use an IPS panel in a 5″ display (1280 x 720 resolution) and run Android 4.3 on a quad-core processor. Hisense is also introducing an ultra-short throw laser projector called the Laser Cinema, which can throw a 100″ image.
Hisense has been showing its ULED TVs since CES 2013. These are LCD models that are meant to compete with OLED screens. The company has been very cagey about the technology it uses in the past, although we had our suspicions, and at the show we found that the saturated colours are the result of quantum dot technology (not really a surprise, but confirmation is always nice!). The largest model shown at IFA was a 90″ prototype, although the technology began at 55″. The TVs use direct-LED backlights; to achieve deep black levels, they have many zones of local dimming: 144 on a 55″ and 240 on a 65″. The LEDs in these zones can turn off completely.
Additions were made to Hisense’s UltraHD XT900 line (Display Monitor Vol 20 No 3), in 50″, 55″ and 65″ sizes, all of which will cover 100% of the NTSC colour gamut using ULED technology. Another TV, the 85″ 85XT910, will do the same and features HEVC decoding.
Partnership Extends Hisense Technology
A prototype TV of a type that we had previously only seen from LG and Samsung was drawing attention on the stand: a bendable model. The 65″ unit used ULED technology and could be flat or curved. Unlike the Korean companies’ offerings, though, the whole frame appeared to curve, rather than remaining flat at the back. Hisense has built the TV with a 5m bend radius, but didn’t have any more information to share.
Four UltraHD ULED models were on show, two in the XT900 line (LED55XT900G3DU-N and LED65XT900G3DU-N) and two in the K700 line (LED65K700G3DU and LED70K700G3DU). The XT900 units have local dimming and a peak brightness of 550 cd/m