Sharp Will Stop Selling TVs In The Americas, Licenses Name To Hisense

Sharp was an early player in the flat panel screen market, but the Japanese company has decided to leave behind their TV business in the Americas, agreeing to license their name to a Chinese company, Hisense. Sharp sold its factory in Mexico to Hisense, which will presumably supply TVs to customers in North and South America alike.

Sharp will hand over the keys and the brand name in January of 2016, and they’re the manufacturer of any TVs under that brand that you see in stores now. Well, except for the line of Sharp TVs sold at Best Buy that the retailer licensed the well-known manufacturer’s name for, and which the company said at the time are totally not just Insignia TVs with a Sharp label slapped on them.

Hisense plans to hold a press conference on this tomorrow, but the basic facts were enough to make our test-pattern-watching colleagues down the hall at Consumer Reports ponder what this change will mean for consumers. Sharp says that it will honor warranty and service commitments made to consumers in the U.S., and they don’t seem to be ending all of their U.S. operations: just TVs.

What about Hisense, though? They aren’t new to the U.S. market: they’ve been selling TVs here for a while. Consumer Reports looked back in their ratings and found that the company’s TVs were usually in the bottom half of the rankings. Maybe taking over Sharp’s factory in Mexico will help improve their quality.

Sharp exits the U.S. TV business—what you need to know [Consumer Reports]

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