Sony expects that 3D televisions will make up between 30 percent and 50 percent of all sets it sells in the financial year that begins in April 2012, a senior executive said late last week. The goal further indicates Sony's confidence in 3D entertainment ahead of a roll-out of the technology next year.
The 3D-compatible sets will include a small piece of additional hardware that enables them to show 3D content but they'll also work as conventional television sets, said Hiroshi Yoshioka, executive deputy president of Sony and head of the unit that includes its TV business, in an interview. Yoshioka didn't elaborate on the additional hardware but said it would only add a little to the production cost of the TV set.
By far the biggest expense for 3D viewing will be the glasses that are required to produce the illusion of a three-dimensional image. Those could cost up to around US$200 and won't necessarily be bundled with a television. By selling the glasses separately Sony will be able to keep its 3D-compatible sets competitive with other sets while only requiring a higher outlay from customers who want to experience 3D content.
Sony's TV business has been losing money for six years but Stringer committed this month to turning a profit on televisions in the next financial year, which runs from April 2010 to March 2011. Success with 3D will be vital if Sony is to accomplish its goal of grabbing a 20 percent share of the LCD TV market within the next three years.