Funai’s new TV models to hit Japanese stores in June

Kyodo

Funai brand television models will return to the Japanese market for the first time since 2006, with Yamada-Denki to begin selling them on June 2, Funai Electric has said.

The 11 new models from five series, including new 4K high-definition TVs, are equipped with hard disks for recording TV programs, the Osaka-based maker said on Wednesday.

Though prices have not been set, they are likely to be cheaper than competitor models with similar specs. Funai Electric aims to secure a domestic market share of 5 percent in fiscal 2017.

The new models will also include less expensive 2K televisions, as Funai Electric plans to attract a wide range of customers to distinguish itself from major domestic manufacturers that focus on expensive models.

Noboru Yamada, chairman of Yamada-Denki — which has signed an exclusive sales deal for Japan with Funai Electric — said the lineup of TV sets at stores has narrowed due to Japanese makers’ withdrawals.

“We need Japanese brands which can earn support from customers,” Yamada said.

Funai Electric predicts domestic sales of TVs in fiscal 2020 will double from last year’s level to around 10 million, driven by demand fueled by the Olympic Games.

The company aims to further expand its domestic market share to 20 percent in fiscal 2020 as it plans to launch TV sets with organic electroluminescent screens next summer.