Toshiba talks tellys

Chief specialist Yuji Motomura covers past, present and future of The Tube

Tags: JapanToshiba CorporationUnited Arab Emirates
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Toshiba talks tellys Mr Motomura believes the demand for larger screens in multiple territories is not driven by innovations in media, but by the quality of content available.
By  Stephen McBride Published  January 23, 2014

Toshiba caters for a very discerning customer base in its home market. Top-of-line TVs in Japan can now carry eight 64-bit image processors, while the standard outside Toshiba's domestic market is six such processors. And despite the prevalence of relatively smaller living rooms in Japan, Toshiba has found that larger screens are in greater demand.

"Five years ago the 32-inch models sold best, but now one in three consumers express a preference for TV screens larger than 50 inches," said Mr Motomura.

But does this reflect demand in the Middle East?

"There is a number of factors at play here [in the Middle East market]," said Neeraj Sharma, head of marketing, visual products division, Toshiba Gulf FZE.

"One is the size of the living room; another is the demographics of the country itself. When you look at a market like Saudi Arabia where the majority of the population is [made up of nationals], until two years ago what we used to sell as the maximum was the 40-inch; the 46-inch-plus would be less than 1% or 2% of the market. Today the 50-inch-plus-sized segment would be approximately 15% in value terms."

Mr Motomura believes the demand for larger screens in multiple territories is not driven by innovations in media, but by the quality of content available. Highly entertaining movies and games will be more likely to cause consumers to seek out a larger TV than the introduction of BluRay or a new games console Toshiba targets its big-screen models heavily at the large gaming community in Japan, touting the response time in its hardware that can mean the difference between life and death in an online skirmish.

Toshiba has its eyes fixed on the Middle East and hopes to increase presence and market share across the Gulf and beyond.

"In the region Toshiba may not be a consumer brand name," admits Mr Motomuru. "There are many competitors like Sony and the South Korean brands, but we have always been a major TV manufacturer in Japan with a large share in the industry. While our competitors may be more familiar to consumers [in the Middle East] we are keen to expand our share base here."

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