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TCL sets sights on SADC after launching Google TV range in Zimbabwe

An example of TCL product. (Photo: TCL)
An example of TCL product. (Photo: TCL)

Global electronics brand TCL has announced the launch of its Google TV range into Zimbabwe and has entered into an exclusive partnership with local distribution company WRS Switchgear to help it achieve its target of 30% market share.

Switchgear was established in 2007 and according to Ryan Curling, Marketing Manager, TCL South Africa, the distribution company is well-established with extensive relationships, which is key to the success of TCL in Zimbabwe.

The alliance is actually in effect already in place with Switchgear contracted to distribute and manage TCL’s air conditioner and audio-visual sales locally.

Now the brand is looking to pounce on the Google TV opportunity.

TCL says according to OMDIA 2022, it is the no.2 ranked LCD TV brand globally and also ranks as the no. 1 Android TV brand.

It adds that its smart TVs rank in the top five in more than 20 countries and regions by sales volume, growing by over 52% Y-o-Y in European- and over 38% in emerging markets respectively.

TCL pegged its stake into the South African market when it launched Google TV in the country in 2021.

Says Curling: “Our price offering is exceptionally competitive especially if you consider the specification of our products. We recently launched a full range of Google TVs to the market … this means features like Google Voice Search come standard on all our products . We were also first to market with a 144hz Google TV into the South African market.”

It adds that Google TV ranges are competitively priced because it has invested in its own panel manufacturing facility “which allows for the full integration of the TV manufacturing process”.

TCL aims to replicate this success in Zimbabwe and will lean on its vertical supply chain, which Curling describes as one of the brand’s key competitive advantages.

For Zimbabwe, TCL has lined up a starting range of Google enabled TV’s, with a focus on its P735, 4K HDR Google TV With Dolby Atmos; the C735 and the TCL P635 4K HDR Google TV With Dolby Audio. Also on offer is TCL’s entry level P615 model 4K Android TV with TCL AI built in.

A statement released by the company reads: “ With Google Assistant built-in, the TVs provide access to endless entertainment possibilities with the most advanced Smart TV system and easy access to favourite content with an integrated hands-free voice control system.”

Gavin Clare, Managing Director at Switchgear says: “We at Switchgear are very proud to partner with TCL in an exclusive relationship to distribute this growing global brand into the Zimbabwean market and are excited to roll out the product line-up at the TCL Zimbabwe launch.”

TCL’s PD Erasmus says: “We’re very excited to be bringing this global brand to the people of Zimbabwe, with more outlets being announced soon. We’re very proud to have the full range featuring Google TV, Google Voice Search activated commands and Google Duo video conferencing.”

TCL says all SADC counties are on its radar, including new target markets Lesotho, Malawi and Zambia.

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