TCL in North America and Roku have been joined at the hip since 2014. The TV maker is now introducing its first Android TVs in the US as part of the low-end 3 series.
Roku and Android TVs
China's TCL has been pursuing different strategies in the US and Europe. In the US, the company joined forces with Roku to launch Roku TVs whereas it partnered with Google in Europe to sell Android TVs.
TCL says that it will "continue to make a full line of TCL Roku TV models" for the US market but that it will add Android TVs to its portfolio to "diversify the product lineup".
- "Our award-winning TV lineup helped propel us into America's second-largest TV brand just five years after we introduced our products in the U.S. and with those significant achievements, we believe this is the perfect time to deliver another option for consumers with Android TV," said Chris Larson, SVP, TCL North America.
TCL's Android TVs are available in the US as the low-end 3 series in 32 and 40 inches for $200 and $130. The TVs feature 1080p or 720p resolution, two HDMI inputs, and built-in WiFi. As part of the Android TV operating system you get access to the Google Play store, Google Assistant support, and Chromecast built-in.
- "We are excited to expand on our relationship with TCL to bring Android TV to TCL's award-winning TVs in North America. Combined with TCL's expertise in delivering best-selling and highly reviewed TV sets, we're able to deliver a best-in-class smart entertainment experience that the whole family can enjoy," said Shalini Govil-Pai, Senior Director of Product Management for Android TV, Google.
The companies did not comment on their future plans for Android TVs in the US but it is notable that the biggest Roku TV partner is now launching Android TVs in partnership with Google. It is not uncommon either for TV makers to introduce a new platform in its low-end TVs first in an effort to build leverage against another partner that is gaining too much bargaining power.