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Sony TV Shortage To Be Met In 60 Days

5/03/2010 12:01:00 AM Eastern

SAN DIEGO — Sony Electronics is on course to
deliver its new 3D TV lines this summer as scheduled,
but executive VP and chief marketing officer
Mike Fasulo told TWICE the company has experienced
product shortages due to unexpectedly
high demand.

In fact, he said, the compounding
rate of demand for 2D models that
have shipped so far has left the company
hard pressed to fill dealers’ revised orders, which
should be caught up in 60 days.

“We put in a pretty aggressive forecast for this new
line. It’s a brand-new line that we are shipping into
the market, and we expected it to be well accepted,
but we didn’t expect the unprecedented demand we
have seen so far, especially coming off the economy
we saw last year,” Fasulo said. “We put in a doubledigit
forecast [increase] for this new line, and in 30
days it increased again by another 30 percent.”

According to retailers who spoke to TWICE,
the situation is not unique to Sony. Dealers are also reporting TV shortages across the
board, with LED LCD TV, 3D TVs of
all types, plasma TV (particularly entry
720p models) and 32-inch LCD particularly
hot segments.

Asked what he attributes the extraordinary
rate of demand to, Fasulo said:
“First and foremost I think it’s the new
televisions we are bringing to market.
They are gorgeously designed whether
on or off, they include Internet connectivity,
and there is great anticipation
for 3D coming out. On top of that, too, I
think the economy itself is improving.”

He added that while he welcomes the
strong demand for a new line, he worries
“about what that will mean with our
relationship with our retailers as well
as any pain consumers may encounter
from that.”

Sony, he said, will be looking to allocate
its supply fairly to its dealers and
consumers.

“Preference would be with the consumer
experience. What I am worried about
is we have a very loyal group of dealers
and a very loyal group of customers, and
how do we get through this with the least
amount of pain as possible?” he said.

Sony, he added, is doing its best to
communicate with retailers as frequently
as possible with updates about
any improvement with supply and shipment
ETAs.

Hundreds of thousands of units are
shipping now, and Sony should start
catching up with the demand forecast
within the next 60 days, Fasulo said.

“Frankly, some [Sony dealers] are less
pleased than others,” he said. “We understand
that and respect that. This is their
livelihood, but we are doing everything
we can to get them better supply and education.”

Fasulo said Sony’s consumer following
has shown strong support for the new
TV models “across the board. The LEDbased
products are some of the highest
demanded models right now, but I
haven’t shipped 3D yet, and I’m stepping
up my orders on 3D now because I’m anticipating
demand is going to carry over
into our 3D products when they ship.”

Fasulo said Sony deliberately set a
summer delivery date for the 3D products,
because the company felt it was an
important technological opportunity for
the company and wanted to ensure that
the product was right when models finally
hit the market.

Although rumors have circulated
among dealers at recent buying group
meetings that the lack of supply could
stem from Sony’s joint production relationship with Sharp in the new 10th-
Gen LCD panel plant in Saiki City,
Japan, Fasulo said: “We haven’t encountered
supply issues with any of our partners.
It has really been a whole demand
forecast issue. We thought the forecast was adequate, and we’re seeing well
above that.”

Coincidentally, Sharp within the last
two weeks said it soon would be doubling
the output capacity of the plant.