LeTV released the long-planned SuperTV, a smart TV, today. The TV set is a joint effort with
Sharp Sharp Display Products(A joint venture evenly-held by Sharp and Hon Hai), Qualcomm snapdragon, Foxconn, etc. The 60 inch one, X60, is priced at 6999 yuan (US$1130) and the 39 inch one, S40, is sold for 1999 yuan (US$320). Chinese users can buy them on LeTV’s online shop from the end of June.
Before the smart TV the hardware, the company developed needed software, such as LeTV UI, a customized operating system for big TV screen and LeTV Store, an Smart TV app collection which has over 2000 apps — the store has also been pre-installed in smart TVs and set-top boxes by many local brands. A foundation has been founded together with Shenzhen Capital Group and Innovation Works (also LeTV’s investor) to fund developers. LeTV promises to share revenues from paid apps, in-app sales, advertising and app-related licensing fees with developers.
Its online video platform provides a plenty of video content, ranging from TV drama, movies and sports events. Plus, its film production company would produce an average of 30 videos every year. Viewing isn’t for free, but for 490 yuan a year — a price similar to cable TV subscription in China.
The company has been working on smartizing TV for several years. It was 2009 that its first set-top box, LeTV-818, was launched. An advanced version, S series, was released in 2011. And the latest T series and C series were rolled out in 2012. C1S, a revamped C1 of C series, was produced by Foxconn who is also the manufacturer of this SuperTV.
Jia Yueting, CEO of LeTV, made forecasts about the future of smart TV, “traditional TV will be replaced by smart TV; the number of smart TVs will reach hundreds of millions before long; remote controls will be everywhere and multi-screens will be unified; large-screen TVs will soon be in average households’ living rooms; fiber will replace coax and apps will replace TV channels that cloud-based video platform will be ubiquitous; TV won’t be TV anymore but the computing center and the Internet platform for families; Internet-based service providers will be market leaders.”