Toshiba did not announce any new TVs at CES earlier this month; a surprising move for a company that has been in the US market for several decades. It appears that this may have been a wholly deliberate move.
Twice received a statement in early January from Toshiba Information Systems, stating: ‘Toshiba Corporation is currently evaluating the business model for the US consumer TV market as part of the company’s measures to reform its Visual Products business worldwide. Toshiba will announce the details when the decision has been finalised in the next few months’.
Toshiba has seen some success in the TV rental market in recent years, but has been losing its retail foothold on both a national and regional level, as consolidations and aggressive price promotions have bit into the company’s margins.
A source familiar with the matter told us that Toshiba may enter a TV licensing deal in the US, much as Sharp did in Europe last year (Display Monitor Vol 21 No 42). (TA)
This is in line with the move of Toshiba out of TV assembly in Europe. Back in October, Compal said that it had bought Toshiba’s TV factory in Wroclaw, Poland. Toshiba said at the time that it would continue to supply sets in Europe, sourced from Compal. Of course, in Europe, it is much harder for low end companies to enter the market, so the low end is not, quite, as fierce as in the US. (BR)