Samsung was the first manufacturer to start shipping a UHD Blu-ray player. The company started to do so ahead of schedule two months ago but even now, in mid-April, UBD-K8500 continues to be in short supply. The release date in Europe appears to have been slightly postponed as a consequence.
The first UHD Blu-ray player
Samsung, Panasonic, and Philips are the only companies that have announced UHD Blu-ray players. Sony and Oppo have only confirmed that they will release players. To get a head start, Samsung moved forward its shipping date from March to early February in the US.
Shipping times in the US are improving but many retailers continue to report tight supply even two months after the launch. Amazon for example says that UBD-K8500 is “temporarily out of stock”. Best Buy finally has enough stock to meet demand but it only got there recently after many weeks of tight supply. Samsung is also selling the player on its website that currently reads “ships in 2 to 3 weeks”.
Delayed in Europe
So, weak supply or strong demand? We are guessing the latter. Why? Well, despite a shrinking market for discs enthusiasts are excited to finally get their hands on UHD/HDR discs.
However, a more significant indicator of strong demand is the fact that the shipping date in many European countries has slipped into late April or in some regions even into May. At Samsung Forum in February, Samsung told us to expect it in Europe in mid-March. So…
In fact, it seems that Panasonic may start selling its UHD Blu-ray player in some European countries before Samsung. It is still slated for a mid-April release.
The suggested retail price for Samsung UBD-K8500 is $500 but Amazon and Best Buy are selling it for just $400.