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Herrington Looks To Reconnect Sharp

1/06/2011 12:01:00 AM Eastern

LAS VEGAS — Just more than 100 days into his role
as president of Sharp Electronics Marketing Company
of America, John Herrington said that among his top
priorities will be to reconnect U.S. consumers with
Sharp as the leader in LCD TV technology.

Sharp Electronics, which was among the earliest
pioneers of LCD displays, and continues to lead the
Japanese market in TV market share, has seen its once
firm grasp in the top three U.S. LCD TV brands slip in
recent years.

Under the challenges of price-aggressive competitors,
such as Vizio, Samsung and LG, Japanese companies
including Sharp, Sony and Panasonic continue
to try to come to terms with the crippling impact of the
rising value of the yen against the U.S. dollar.

Sharp has sought to overcome the currency disadvantage
by introducing innovative new phases of LCD
technology, such as Quad-Color system, and its application
to 3D.

Much of the work has been done, Herrington pointed
out, adding that that Sharp “already enjoys strong
brand equity” with retailers and “97 percent of consumers
already know about us. Our challenge is to
reconnect with them and bring excitement to the market.”

Herrington praised the success of Sharp’s extensive
national TV advertising spots of the past year that supported
the launch of the Quattron Quad-Color HDTVs
and 3D TVs, using the humorous testimony of highly
recognizable spokesman George Takei of Star Trek
and Howard Stern fame, and 3D movie partnerships
with the producers of the 3D animation comedy “Despicable
Me.”

That campaign will continue into 2011 with further
campaigns to be announced as Sharp ramps up production
of next-generation LCD TV panels from its
Gen 10 facilities, Herrington said.

This year, the plant affords Sharp the ability to step
up in screen size, offering a new high-performance
challenge to plasma and rear-projection DLP technology
competitors that have played off of their bigscreen
value message for the past several years.

Sharp will feature a 70-inch screen size in its core
Aquos Quattron consumer line using the X-gen panel,
and full-array LED backlighting technology to deliver a
6,000,000:1 Dynamic contrast ratio. The set, like most
in the Aquos line this year, will also offer a suite of connected
streaming features.

In his goal to reconnect Sharp with consumers, Herrington
said Sharp’s TVs will offer consumers the ability
to connect to Internet based content.

This year’s LCD’s will support a variety of apps and
content partners, and will simplify the processes of hooking
up to broadband networks through extensive use of
built-in Wi-Fi connections in most step-up model lines.

Some of Sharp’s streaming content partners this
year include: CinemaNow, Netflix, Vudu, and Alphaline
movie services, plus DLNA compliance and access to
the Aquos Advantage Live service for support.

Sharp will also look to broaden its offering in 3D TV
this year behind the Quattron technology, Herrington
said.

He added that Sharp’s approach using its LCD
technology presents a better way to get together with
the family.