Like Samsung, TCL has introduced a TV that can rotate into vertical orientation. It has been designed for a new generation of viewers who have grown up with vertical screens.
A vertical TV
TCL's 'Smart Screen' is a vertical TV that will launch later in 2019 and initially be available in TCL's home country of China for 4000 yuan for a 43-inch model 5000 yuan for a 55-inch model.
Could it succeed in the US or Europe? That remains to be seen but Samsung and TCL both claim to have identified a group of consumers, predominantly millennials, who have grown up with vertical screens. These consumers often watch video in vertical format on social media.
Samsung launched 'The Sero' in late April 2019 less than one month after FlatpanelsHD published an April Fools' Day joke. TCL is not joking.
The company's 'Smart Screen' can flip between horizontal and vertical orientation, providing viewers with flexibility. It is based on an LCD panel produced by TCL subsidiary CSOT.
TCL is one of several Chinese TV makers who have expanded to the US and Europe in recent years. Others include Hisense and Skyworth, while new players such as Huawei and OnePlus may enter soon.