Johannesburg - A new television is on sale in South Africa for a whopping R385 000 – more than three times what the average South African household earns in a year.
The Samsung 85S9 went on sale at the end of last month.
Boasting ultra-high definition (UHD) quality, the corner-to-corner 216cm screen exceeds the height of the tallest Springbok rugby player of all time, lock Andries Bekker (208cm).
Understandably, the state-of-the-art quality and mammoth size come at a cost.
According to Stats South Africa, the average household in the country earns R119 542 a year.
But this is hardly the target market of the TV manufacturers, who insist the price tag is well worth it for those who can afford it.
“Rather than a home appliance, Samsung has created a TV that blends in with a home’s interior decor,” said Lance Berger, the head of product marketing for Samsung South Africa.
White households’ average annual income comes closest to matching the cost of the TV at R314 524, while the average black household (R55 920 a year) earns nearly seven times less than the 85S9’s price tag.
Despite the price, DionWired said they have already sold one of six sets in stock within just a month, while another two demo sets from Samsung were on a roadshow across the country.
This is according to Andrew Jackson, the director of DionWired, who said one of the demo TVs was moved from their Woodmead branch to Sun City on Thursday.
The UHD set has four times the resolution of other high-definition (HD) screens available in South Africa and can upscale HD content through its built-in processor.
The TV is suspended on a frame with 120-watt speakers, supports 3D movies and web browsing, and also comes with a built-in camera for video communication in apps such as Skype.
Because the TV is suspended in a frame, a single cable powers the set and is wired into the base of the frame to avoid wires hanging behind the screen.
All other inputs, such as DVD players or gaming consoles, are plugged into a separate box, which also connects to the frame with one cable.
Based on the dollar-rand exchange rate, the TV costs even more in the US at $40 000 (R392 000), but Jackson said the price would remain the same in South Africa for the foreseeable future. - The Star