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Appliance Firms Eye Niche Product Markets in Korea
Nov 11, 2003
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Many home appliance makers across the globe have been expanding their market share in Korea by introducing niche-market products.

JVC, a Japanese electronic-goods maker, released a camcorder that can take 60 freeze-frame shots a second, to help golf fanatics perfect their swing. Despite the camcorder’s W3.9-million (approx. U.S. $3.3 million) price tag, the gadget has caught on with golfers. A digital camcorder usually costs about W1.5 million, only half of the JVC product.

The Japanese firm Sharp recently introduced an air-cleaner, called the Plasma Cluster Air-Cleaner, which the company claims filters out the influenza virus. A result of joint marketing activities with the microbiology research center at Seoul National University, Sharp’s product is said to be the leading air-cleaner on the market.

Sony Korea has been selling a television that has a memory stick slot built in, so that images from a digital camera or camcorder can be shown on TV without a cable connection.

Carrier Korea has been selling its wine refrigerator for W3.9 million. The company said it has been selling 30 of the refrigerators a month.

As foreign electronics firms have been making further inroads into the market with top-end niche items, Korea firms have taken notice. The robot vacuum cleaner is a good example of the fad.

Electrolux Korea unveiled a robot vacuum cleaner, the first such product in Korea, in January. The firm said that the W2.28 million shelf cost, about 10 times the cost of a regular vacuum, the firm has been selling W70 million of the cleaners a month.

Threatened by Electrolux' rising market share, LG Electronics, the leader in Korea's vacuum cleaner market, introduced a new product called Robot King, about W200,000 more expensive than the Electrolux robot. (Digital Chosun)

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