Samsung expects full-blown 8K competition from 2020

By Lim Jeong-yeo

Tech giant to expand QLED 8K TV sales to 60 countries this year

  • Published : Feb 10, 2019 - 11:57
  • Updated : Feb 10, 2019 - 17:45

It’s the course of nature for the TV industry to continue developing bigger screens with higher resolutions, according to Han Jong-hee, Samsung Electronics’ president of visual display business.

The tech giant said it will meet consumer demand for bigger screens and higher resolution through its two-track strategy of quantum-dot light-emitting diode TV and micro-liquid crystal displays.

Han Jong-hee, Samsung Electronics’ president of visual display business (Samsung Electronics)

This year, Samsung has added 98- and 55-inch QLED 8K TVs to the existing lineup of 65-, 75-, 82- and 85-inch screens.

Samsung launched QLED 8K TVs in Korea, Europe, US and Russia last year.

In 2019, sales will expand to 60 countries. Starting with Europe on Tuesday, the firm will invite potential clients to its “Samsung Forum,” which is to be held in three locations in different global regions through March.

Video contents shot in lower resolution become clearer when played on Samsung’s QLED 8K, with the help of its exclusive artificial intelligence-powered quantum processor that creates new pixels to fill in the picture. 

A Samsung Electronics senior researcher demonstrates the resolution quality of its QLED 8K TV at its R&D center in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province. (Samsung Electronics)

“Population is on the decline and the market is stagnating. But if you look at big-screen TV sales, there is remarkable two-digit percentage growth every year,” Han told reporters at the firm’s research and development facility in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province, Friday.

London-based information provider IHS Markit has predicted 8K will account for over 10 percent of the market for TVs with a screen size of 60 inches or greater by 2021. 

When running idle, the QLED 8K TV uses the “magic screen” function for camouflage. The standby mode that mimics wallpaper or ambient colors is predicted to cost users 7,000 won ($6.20) in electricity fees annually when run for three hours a day throughout the year.

The QLED 8K 85-inch model is currently priced at 26.7 million won -- more expensive than the latest models of Hyundai Motor’s Avante, Kia Motors’ K3 and SsangYong Motor’s Tivoli.

Despite the hefty price tag and giant size likely to take up most of a living room wall, Samsung is confident the premium TV market will thrive.

“Depending on how chipmakers catch up, more firms will launch 8K products,” Han forecast, “I expect full-blown competition in the 8K market from 2020.”

A London-based information provider predicts 8K TV market expansion. (IHS Markit)

Declining to offer a specific sales target for 2019, Han vowed Samsung would maintain the No. 1 position in the domestic consumer electronics market that it took from LG Electronics last year.

“Market domination happens not just when sales rise but when it becomes a widespread desire among consumers to own a product,” Han said.

“In that respect, the 8K TVs will yield faster results than 4K TVs.”

Unlike LG, which introduced rollable TV screens at Consumer Electronics Show 2019 in Las Vegas in January, Han indicated no form factor changes for Samsung displays. He only elaborated that the company’s customizable 8K micro-LCD modules will allow consumers to create their own screen ratio.

By Lim Jeong-yeo (