Samsung’s high-end TVs will be considerably cheaper in 2018 as the company hopes to combat rivals’ OLED TVs. The Korean company has slashed prices by up to $4000 for a flagship TV, despite using more advanced zone dimming technology.
The South Korean has had a rough 2017, which was the year when it first started touting its edge-lit LCD TVs as “QLED”. Consumers have preferred OLED TVs from rival companies and Samsung has seen its share of the premium TV segment drop from over 50% a few years ago to less than 10%, according to Korean media.
Samsung will respond be incorporating advanced full array local dimming (FALD) LED systems in its 2018 Q8 and Q9 models. FALD technology should deliver a considerable upgrade over last year’s edge-lit sets. Samsung will also continue to focus on design with a new “One Connection” cable and new smart features such as the Bixby voice assistant.
It was clear that Samsung needed to do something to remain relevant in the premium TV game this year so besides enhanced its LCD panels, the company will significantly slash prices. For comparison, last year’s 65-inch Q9 launched with a $6000 price tag. The 2018 65-inch Q9 will cost significantly less at $3800. The price drop is even more notable for the 75-inch Q9, which will cost $4000 less.
Q9 and Q8 are meant to compete head-to-head with OLED TVs from LG, Sony, and other brands. LG has announced that its C8 OLED will start at $3000 for a 55-inch version this year and $4000 for a 65-inch model, making it more expensive than Samsung’s 2018 Q8 but roughly equal to Q9. The company will launch a more affordable B8 OLED model later in 2018.
The edge-lit Q7 and Q6 will also be more affordable than last year's versions.
Samsung’s 2018 TVs will start shipping in mid-April.