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Sharp's 90-inch flatscreen TV is displayed at the Abu Dhabi Electronics Shopper at Adnec, which continues till Monday. Delores Johnson / The National
Delores Johnson Staff Photographer
Sharp's 90-inch flatscreen TV is displayed at the Abu Dhabi Electronics Shopper at Adnec, which continues till Monday. Delores Johnson / The National

Sharp at cutting edge with big screen TVs

Sales of Sharp televisions in the Emirates more than doubled last year, according to the Japanese electronics retailer.

Sales of Sharp televisions in the Emirates more than doubled last year on the back of a surge in the popularity of large screens.

The Japanese manufacturer, which is taking part in Abu Dhabi Electronics Shopper this weekend, recorded a rise of about 110 per cent in sales last year after introducing 60, 70 and 80-inch screens to the market.

It is using Electronics Shopper, the first event of its kind in the capital, to showcase the Aquos 90-inch flat screen TV, the world's largest commercially available LED TV, which is due to launch in the UAE next month.

Sharp sold 5,000 screens sized 60 inches and above last year, according to Floyd D'Souza, the sales manager of the consumer electronics division for Sharp Middle East.

"We started with 60-inch and then we introduced 70-inch at a great price point. The market was at that time close to Dh35,000 [US$9,529] and we introduced [70-inch screens] at Dh15,000," he said.

"Then we introduced our 80-inch at around Dh36,000. The market for 84-inch is around Dh100,000 and there is another one for Dh70,000."

The company is remaining tight-lipped about the cost of the 90-inch TV, although Mr D'Souza said it will be "affordable".

"In the UAE a lot of people [like] big screens. We are really hoping for big numbers," he said.

"Yesterday I was talking to someone, one of the retailers, and they said they were ready to pick up 50 units."

Sharp is able to sell large-sized screens cheaper than some companies thanks to its 10th generation LCD panel plant in Sakai, Japan, he said. "By virtue of having that we have had some benefits and advantages. We have taken the business to a different level with the big sizes."

Screens above 60 inches make up about 35 per cent of Sharp's sales of TVs in the UAE. But the company thinks there is still room for the number to grow.

Participating in events such as Abu Dhabi Electronics Shopper is crucial for the company to grow its market share in the capital, said Mr D'Souza.

"Abu Dhabi is one market where we feel there is huge potential. This is exactly where everyone is looking to come. That's the reason why we can't miss it," he added.

Sharp is among a growing list of companies working in the electronics and IT sector in the UAE.

Over the past decade, the number of electronics and IT companies based in Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) has grown fourfold, rising from 280 in 2003 to 1,121 last year.

"Electronics and IT sector constitutes 16 per cent of the Jafza's total strength but these companies account for 39 per cent of the free zone's total trade," said Hisham Abdullah Al Shirawi, the chairman of Economic Zones World, the parent company of Jafza.

"The electronics and IT sector has generated trade worth Dh130 billion in 2011."

 

gduncan@thenational.ae

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