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Sharp TVs will return to the US this year

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If you fondly remember owning a Sharp TV years ago, only to be less-than-pleased with a newer model, here's some good news: the Japanese TV manufacturer is planning a comeback of epic proportions and has plans to stock Sharp-designed and developed TVs in the country by the end of the year.  

For context, Sharp was forced to pull out of the market back in 2015, due to troubled finances, though it eventually received a bailout by Foxconn, and – as reported by Reuters (opens in new tab) is now on its way to returning to the US.

For the last few years, Hisense has been producing all Sharp TVs in the US (Sharp technically sold its US TV license to Hisense to recover funds), but today Sharp reportedly regained the license to resume business in the United States. 

The details of the deal aren't known, but it comes as something of a surprise after previous negotiations stalled; until recently Sharp was also in the midst of a lawsuit against Hisense for putting the Sharp brand on 'sub-par products'.

A rose by any other name doesn't smell as sweet

Licensing in different territories can be a tricky thing, with manufacturers often creating entirely different sets for US and UK markets, or allowing another company to make and distribute sets under their own label. Philips, too, no longer sells its own televisions in the US, despite having a large presence across much of Europe.

But the US is a competitive market for televisions, with the likes of Samsung, LG, and TCL cornering much of the market, and it could prove hard for Sharp to gain a foothold. 

For viewers after budget pricing, there are already a number of capable budget sets under $500 (£380 / AU$715), and Sharp will need to undercut further on price – or make a splash with its premium offerings, like the 70-inch 8K TV monitor it brought to Europe last year. Either way, Sharp seems determined to reclaim its own destiny in American stores.

Henry St Leger
Henry St Leger

Henry is a freelance technology journalist. Before going freelance, he spent more than three years at TechRadar reporting on TVs, projectors and smart speakers as the website's Home Cinema Editor – and has been interviewed live on both BBC World News and Channel News Asia, discussing the future of transport and 4K resolution televisions respectively. As a graduate of English Literature and persistent theatre enthusiast, he'll usually be found forcing Shakespeare puns into his technology articles, which he thinks is what the Bard would have wanted. Bylines also include Edge, T3, and Little White Lies.