"We sold 3 million units of TVs in 2007 but aim at 4.5 million units in 2008," Vizio Inc's CEO William Wang told me in a powerful tone. He revealed this goal at Vizio's "Press Day" held at a hotel near the "2008 International CES" during the event.
Vizio is a fabless manufacturer, which drew attention when it won the largest share in both the thin-panel and LCD TV markets in North America in the second quarter of 2007.
Seeing the company drop to second in both share rankings in the following third quarter, some are apparently considering the company is losing momentum it had before. But Wang was filled with high spirit. He talked about 2008 goals, after enthusiastically shaking my hand.
Vizio will introduce full HD (1080p) plasma TVs for the first time in 2008. In 2008, the company will add 50- and 60-inch full HD models to 720p resolution plasma TVs it has marketed thus far.
Both models are slated for market debut in June 2008 with street pricing expected to be US$1,699 for 50-inch and US$2,899 for 60-inch. The company is highlighting affordable pricing for the 50-inch model, which is lower than that for 46- and 47-inch LCD TVs. Pricing for the 60-inch model is set at less than US$3,000 so the product can be widely sold at general consumer electronics outlets.
Vizio will also launch new 720p resolution plasma TV products in May to June 2008. Pricing for 32- and 42-inch models will be US$689 and 999, respectively. Two 50-inch models will be available at US$1,399 and 1,799 as well.
It is not that Vizio will ease up on its enhancement of LCD TVs in exchange for these new plasma TVs. The company also announced 17 models from 4 series as its new LCD TV products.
In its mainstay series, Vizio has come up with pricing of less than US$2,000 for 40-inch class full HD models and less than US$1,000 for 37-inch and smaller 720p resolution models. Pricing for major products is US$669.99 for a 32-inch model, US$849.99 to 899.99 for 37-inch models, US$1299.99 to 1349.99 for 42-inch models and US$1749.99 to 1799.99 for 46- and 47-inch models.
Visio will also release new LCD TV models optimized for use as a videogame monitor, adopting 120Hz drive and motion sensing/compensation technology along with an HDMI terminal dubbed "HD game port" located on a side of the display. The company is assuming the price of a 42-inch model at US$1,499 and a 47-inch model at US$1,899. Shipments are due to start in June 2008.