Did you score on Black Friday or Cyber Monday? I have a 42-inch Samsung Plasma TV that is ready to be replaced. I bought this state-of-the-art plasma TV seven years ago for $795 (that was a bargain back then). Today, you can buy a 42-inch Samsung LCD HDTV on Amazon for $395—almost half the price from the one I purchased almost a decade ago. It’s a great deal and I plan on purchasing it once I finish this newsletter.
I like to keep up with the latest TVs that pop on the market, and I usually compare their features and retail pricing. Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics remain the leaders, Sony comes in third, and the rest of the field rounds out with a couple of TVs from Chinese manufacturers. There are more than 10 TV manufacturers with products at retail. The more popular names include Samsung, LG, Sony, Vizio, Sharp, Sanyo, Toshiba, Westinghouse, RCA, Polaroid and Philips. Most of these were manufactured in America and Japan, however bankruptcies and brand spin-offs caused the original manufacturers to sell the brand names. Many of them were sold to Chinese companies.
State-of-the-art TVs now boast 4K Ultra HD. Samsung and LG continue to promote their curved TVs (the sense of “depth” is enhanced), however there are many pros and cons for purchasing a curved TV making the decision confusing for the consumer.
The huge selling feature (or buying feature, depending on if you’re buying or selling) is the low prices for some of these TVs. The most popular size is 55 inches, and you can buy a Sony 55-inch 4K Ultra HD for $ 350—half of what they retailed for a few years ago. There are some high-end Samsung TVs that are a little pricey. For example, the Samsung 55” LED curved 2160p Smart 4K Ultra TV will set you back $2300. If you really want to go all out, Samsung has an 88” LED 4K Ultra TV that retails for $ 19,999.00!
The most popular selling TVs have a retail price around the $500 mark. Low prices are good for consumers, but bad for manufacturers. Their margins are razor thin on the low-priced products. The higher-priced products have better margins, but market demand is not as strong for this segment.
Audio is a big item this year—home theater systems and headphones. Bose is the leader in this category. Their surround sound systems range from $299 to $2,999. Another popular item is the Bose Wave Music System. Their systems are easy to use and fit anywhere.
There are a lot of sales for headphones, earbuds, and wireless headphones. Prices are all over the place—they range from $5 to $4,000. The low-end brands work fine, but the technology is far superior in the higher-priced headphones. Once again, Bose is the leader in this category.
Things look good for the electronics industry. Christmas lists no longer consist of board games or arts and crafts items; almost every wish list has an electronics item on it. On top of my list is the iPhone X. This will set you back a mere $1000, and another $200 for a 2-year AppleCare policy.
So, let’s get out there and buy some electronic items. You can still grab some great deals on-line, and have them delivered to your home just in time for the holidays!
Headlines of the week
1. Nippon Electric Glass (Major glass material supplier in Japan) 11/8
Has developed the world first all solid-state sodium ion secondary battery. It works at room temperature.
2. Kyocera (Major device manufacturer in Japan) 11/13
Has rolled out the world’s first 0201 size ceramic chip capacitor series “CM01” with capacitance of 0.2 ~ 22 pF for mobile devices.
3. Mitsui Metal Smelting (Major copper foil supplier in Japan) 11/14
Will expand the manufacturing capacity of the ultra-thin copper foil “Micro Thin” (1.5 ~5 micron thick) with carrier sheet to 3.9 million square meter/month. Major applications are packages of semiconductors and HDI boards of smart phones.
4. Mitsubishi Materials (Major material supplier in Japan) 11/14
Has developed a hybrid circuit board module with heat sink as the LED lighting devices for the automobiles.
5. Toyota Tsusho (Major trading company in Japan) 11/15
Has built the second biomass power generation plant with 12.5 MW capacity in Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture.
6. Rikoh (Major electronics company in Japan) 11/16
Has commercialized a new compact ink-jet printer “RIKOH Ri 100” capable to print on clothes.
7. Tokyo Univ. & Tsukuba Univ. (Japan) 11/17
Have co-developed a new organic molecule semiconductor system that has high mobility of electric charges. It will be valuable for printed transistors.
8. NEDO (Major R&D organization in Japan) 11/17
Has co-developed a new sintered U-shape device for the thermo/electric conversion. It works at middle temperature range (200–800°C).
9. Murata (Major device manufacturer in Japan) 11/20
Will invest 10 billion yens to build a new manufacturing plant with 28,384 square meter floor size in Okayama Prefecture to increase the manufacturing capacity.
10. TDK (Major device manufacturer in Japan) 11/21
Has unveiled the first all solid ceramic base secondary battery “CeraCharge” with SMD shape. Size: 4.5 x 3.2 x 1.1 mm. Capacity: 100 micro Ah with 1.4V.
11. Shinano-Kenshi (Equipment manufacturer in Japan) 11/22
Has unveiled a new flexible robot hand with three claws. It can manage odd-looking materials without mechanical damages.
12. Mitsubishi Electric (Major equipment manufacturer in Japan) 11/27
Has rolled out a new wire-cutting machine series “MP D-CUBES” for the manufacturing of high precision tooling in the mechanical punching processes.
13. Sumitomo Chemical (Major chemical company in Japan) 11/27
Has started the construction of the second plant to increase the supply capacity of the high-purity chemicals for semiconductor manufacturing in China.
14. Yaskawa Electric (Major robot manufacturer in Japan) 11/28
Has co-developed a new automatic screw driver module for the multiple joint arms of the robots.
15. Tokyo Univ. & Kyoto Univ. (Japan) 11/28
Have co-developed a new electrolytic solution for lithium ion butteries. It makes charge/discharge cycle time remarkably longer.