Watch Out LG! Ikea Smart TVs Coming OZ
By Oonagh Reidy | Wednesday | 18/04/2012
Ikea to go hell for leather into tech - with help from China's TCL - a move which should have TV kings Samsung, LG very, very worried.
This comes as Ikea unveiled its all-in-one LED Smart TV with BluRay Player and full home entertainment system with inbuilt furniture, dubbed UPPLEVA
The Swedish furniture giant, best known for its flat pack furniture, will begin flogging UPPLEVA, as well as other TVs and home entertainment units later this year in full tech venture.
Ikea Australia confirmed to Smarthouse the clever unit is coming Down Under although no word on pricing yet: "We are expecting UPPLEVA in Australia in the first half of 2013. We have not confirmed pricing for the Australian market as yet," a spokesperson confirmed.
Read: Ikea Flat-Pack LED TV
"We are launching a new concept where you in one place can buy your furniture and your electronics -- designed for and matched with each other from start, " IKEA's living room chief Magnus Bondesson told Reuters, yesterday.
"This is a large step for us," he admitted.
The flat pack kings say they are responding to consumer demand to integrate furniture and technology in a simplistic way. The UPPLEVA certainly lives up to this and has a minimalist look that can be customised.
Basic all-in-ones will cost 6500 Swedish Kronas, which translates into A$930, when they kick off sales in Europe later this year.
But compared to a Samsung 40" LED HD Smart TV costs $798 or an LG 42" equivilant, which will set you back over $1,000, Ikea's all-in-ones may prove irresistible for consumer since you're getting furrniture, Smart TV, DVD player and sound system to boot.
However, little is known about the qaulity of the sets although the UPPLEVA appears to have all the bells and whistles asocaited with big brand Smart TVs including 400 Hz refresh rate, WiFI enabled and a bundle of ports including HDMI (to connect PC or other device) iPod/Mp3.
|The Swedes are teaming up with Chinese TV maker TCL in its latest tech venture. |
TCL (The Creative Life) has made major inroads into the local and global markets of late and is China's top TV brand.
It has headway in the Australian market since its launch in 2005 with its Internet ready TVs, 3D display sold in JB Hi-Fi, The Good Guys and Harvey Norman.
And analyst believe the savvy furniture maker are on the right track and have put the industry to "shame" with its latest venture:
"It's a clichÃ© to say that the TV is more than a gadget but also a piece of furniture, but Ikea has really proved it, " admits DisplaySearch analyst, Paul Gray.
"While some consumers are likely to think twice before buying an Ikea TV, concerned about the quality of the image or other performance attributes, Ikea is offering a five year guarantee, which at least addresses reliability concerns.
"But any consumer encountering a Japanese name on the set would have felt instantly reassured and bought it with even more confidence. TCL deserves credit for having the imagination to take the opportunity," he added.
Apr/May 2011 issue
reviews the hot new iPhone attach device, the Zeppelin Air. And we look at what's going on in the tablet space...