January 5, 2015 / 9:29 PM / 3 years ago

Sharp promises 'reasonable price' for new, ultra-HD TVs

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - Sharp aims to sell its latest, super high-definition TVs later this year at a “reasonable price,” a senior executive said, as the company tries to stay ahead of other consumer electronics makers offering 4K TVs.

Jim Sanduski, President of Sharp Electronics Marketing Corporation of America Electronics, unveils the new Sharp Aquos Beyond 4K television at the Sharp press conference at the International Consumer Electronics show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada January 5, 2015. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Sharp unveiled new high-resolution TVs, tentatively named “Beyond 4K” at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas on Monday. The TV screens will have 66 million sub pixels, or 42 million more than standard 4K TVs.

Currently, popular 4K TVs offer four times the resolution of standard high-definition TVs, and are made by companies including Panasonic and South Korea’s LG Electronics.

Shigeaki Mizushima, Sharp’s chief technology officer and executive vice president, said consumers were already starting to look for better quality in high-end TVs. Sharp aims to begin selling the Beyond 4K TVs in the first half of the fiscal year starting in April.

“We would like to offer it at a reasonable price,” Mizushima told a media roundtable on the sidelines of CES. “We’re hoping for early fiscal 2015, the first half.”

He said that Sharp had not decided on details of the launch and that the price would be above the existing range of 4K TVs, but possibly below 1 million yen ($8,366). Sharp’s 70-inch 4K Aquos TVs currently sell for around $3,000.

“We want to position it at a premium position compared with 4Ks,” Mizushima said.

Sharp aims to focus on growing profitability rather than sales volumes alone, he said, noting that investing in cutting-edge technology was crucial in securing higher margins in the long run.

But he said Sharp would steer clear of one emerging trend seen among rivals at CES: curved-screen TVs.

“It’s not that we can’t do curved,” Mizushima said. “We could if we wanted. But what is the value in that?”

Reporting by Ritsuko Ando; Editing by Leslie Adler

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