Two Japanese electronics giants are hoping to make a splash in the UAE with a television costing a cool Dh99,999 (US$27,225) and a waterproof smartphone.
Sony and Fujitsu yesterday revealed consumer products set for launch in the region on the back of what they said was healthy consumer demand.
Sony said its 84-inch television would go on sale in the UAE from November 18 - and it would set consumers back a whopping Dh99,999. Hiroyasu Sugiyama, the managing director of Sony Middle East and Africa, acknowledged the firm was not targeting the mass market. "We don't expect to put this product on the shelves of Carrefour," he said.
The TV is among the largest available on the market and has four times the resolution of a normal high-definition set. It is being distributed in the UAE by Jumbo Electronics, both in its own stores and other selected outlets.
"Given the price of Dh100,000, or just less, it's clearly targeting a limited audience. If we can do circa 120 units in a year … I think we will be very, very happy," said Vishesh Bhatia, the chief executive of Jumbo.
"There's a large appetite for large screens. Pre-Olympics and pre-World Cup soccer, there was a spike in demand," he added.
Jumbo is selling a separate high-end audio system alongside the Sony Bravia TV, which costs an additional Dh79,999.
Mr Sugiyama said the giant TV would be launched in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere in the Middle East this year.
"This part of the world is a very important market for TV. It's one of the biggest markets in the world," he said.
Fujitsu, Sony's rival Japanese brand, also plans to increase its range of consumer products in the Middle East.
The company said it was in talks with Middle East mobile operators concerning the regional launch of its smartphone range, which is currently available only in Japan.
"In all probability you will see Fujitsu coming out with phones in this region in the next financial year," said Chandan Mehta, the director of product management at Fujitsu in the Middle East.
The company is in talks with Etisalat and other regional mobile operators about selling its phones along with subscription plans, Fujitsu said.
Mr Mehta said the company had not yet decided exactly which of its smartphone models would be offered for sale in the Middle East.
However, he said devices compatible with high-speed 4G mobile-internet networks would definitely be part of the range.
He added Fujitsu would "hopefully" be launching its waterproof smartphone in the Middle East market.
The company yesterday demonstrated the model in the UAE - illustrating it can still operate normally while submerged in a glass water.
"You can do your emails when you take a shower, or when you're in the bathtub," said Uwe Neumeier, the vice president of global server sales at Fujitsu.