Back in March, Samsung announced the US price for its 85-inch Ultra HD S9 TV: US$40,000. Samsung Australia has now revealed that it will keep that price for the S9 in Australia — AU$39,999, to be exact.
As we noted back in January when the Korean pricing was first announced, there was already quite a price disparity with two other 84-inch models already on the Australian market. This local pricing means that the is S9 is an additional AU$15,000 compared to the Sony 4K Bravia, and AU$24,000 more than the LG Ultra HD TV.
Philip Newton, vice-president of Consumer Electronics for Samsung Australia, is confident that the S9 is worth the cost, though he also said that it's "not for everybody".
Down the road, we'll have different sizes of Ultra HDTV at different price points. But for the moment, when you buy an S9, you're buying a program, not just a product.
The program he's referring to is what Samsung is calling its "white glove service".
When a customer purchases an S9 at any retailer, Samsung will contact the buyer and make arrangements for the delivery of the TV. The company will deliver and set up the S9, give a half day education tutorial on using the Smart TV functions and present the customer with a unique phone number to call for any inquiries post-purchase.
Samsung said that a service professional will be on site at the customer's premises within 24 hours of receiving a call.
The S9 will also feature a bespoke Smart Evolution Kit, which recognises that many of the standards of Ultra HD media have yet to be ratified — the kit will allow Samsung to upgrade the device to any format changes that may occur. Newton called the kit the "absolute heart and soul" of the S9.
The Smart Evolution Kit will be free for S9 owners each year for the rest of the lifecycle of the TV.
Newton also said that in addition to smaller, more affordable Ultra HDTVs, it would bring larger versions out to Australia as well, including a 90-inch and the 110-inch screen shown at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, this year.