Toshiba Corporation, a well-known electronics manufacturer and one of the iconic television brands, underwent a significant transformation in the early 2010s due to financial challenges. These transformations led to dramatic changes in the production and ownership of the Toshiba TV brand in 2024.
Beginning in 2015, Toshiba faced severe financial difficulties primarily related to unsustainable capital expenditures and issues related to accounting practices. The financial difficulties necessitated a strategic review that forced the corporation to undertake a comprehensive restructuring. A critical component of this restructuring was the sale of specific business segments to stabilize the company’s financial condition.
As a result, in 2015, Toshiba took the drastic step of exiting the TV manufacturing sector. This exit marked the end of Toshiba Corporation’s era in the TV manufacturing sector.
The situation further developed in 2018 when Toshiba’s visual solutions division, (Toshiba Visual Solutions), was sold. The acquisition of this division by Hisense, a well-known Chinese electronics firm, marked the transition from Toshiba made in Japan to Toshiba made in China. As a result of the Hisense acquisition, the rights and responsibilities for the production of Toshiba-branded televisions were partially transferred to the new company.
Toshiba TVs North America, USA, Canada, Mexico 2015-2024
According to recent reports, the production of Toshiba-branded televisions for the North American market is handled by Hisense, a Chinese electronics company. This agreement comes after the expiration of Compal Electronics, Inc.’s license for the Toshiba brand in North America, which lasted until 2021.
Compal Electronics, a major player in the electronics manufacturing development and outsourcing industry, originally acquired the license for the Toshiba TV brand and the related manufacturing facility in Mexico in 2015. This facility produced TVs mainly for the US, Canadian, and Mexican markets and utilized components sourced primarily from China. Compal Electronics specializes in laptop manufacturing, producing models for well-known brands such as Dell, Lenovo, and HP. On the old Toshiba TV website, Compal introduced Toshiba TVs in North America from 2015 through 2021: https://tvna.compal-toshiba.com/us/en/.
In 2021, when the license agreement with Compal ended, Hisense acquired the rights to the Toshiba TV brand in North America. The move was part of a broader strategy in which Hisense acquired Toshiba Visual Solutions in 2018. Along with the company, Hisense also took ownership of REGZA, with its namesake brand established in 1996 as a media division. REGZA was initially owned by Toshiba Media Equipment Co., Ltd., then taken over by Toshiba Visual Solutions. In the past, you may have seen Toshiba-Regza TVs on sale – this was an attempt to follow the example of Sony (Sony Bravia) to make a recognizable line of Toshiba TVs. To promote Toshiba TVs in the North American market, the website https://www.toshibatv-usa.com/, owned by TVS REGZA Corporation, is now being used.
Currently, Toshiba’s Hisense-led TVs in North America are characterized by using two major operating systems: ViDAA, which is Hisense’s proprietary OS, and Fire TV, developed by Amazon. These TVs are positioned in the budget segment of the market, offering a minimum of features in line with its pricing strategy.
Toshiba Europe TVs 2015-2024
In Europe, the Toshiba TV brand has followed a different trajectory than in North America. Since 2015, the Toshiba TV brand in Europe has been licensed to Vestel, a subsidiary of Turkish conglomerate Zorlu Holding. Vestel is known as a TV OEM and produces TVs under various brands including Hitachi, Grundig, Finlux and Toshiba.
The duration of Vestel’s license to manufacture Toshiba-branded TVs in the European market has not been disclosed. However, an analysis of Toshiba’s European TV website https://toshiba-tv.com/ reveals some interesting aspects. The presence of ViDAA OS, Fire OS and Android as operating systems in these Toshiba TVs suggests potential Hisense involvement, or at least the influence of Hisense technology or components on these products. Hisense’s ViDAA OS is a notable inclusion as it is Hisense’s own system.
This situation raises the possibility of a collaboration or co-production agreement between Vestel and Hisense, although such a partnership has not been explicitly confirmed. Integration of technologies from different manufacturers in the electronics industry is not uncommon, especially in the context of license agreements and brand sharing.
As for Toshiba’s development of these TVs, the official website states the involvement of Toshiba engineers. This claim is questionable, given that Toshiba no longer has a dedicated imaging division. Perhaps there is a legacy or nominal advisory role involved, but the specific details of this involvement are unclear.
In terms of product positioning, Toshiba’s TVs in the European market, as in North America, are primarily aimed at the budget segment. This strategic direction is characterized by offering basic features at a competitive price, allowing consumers to find affordable TVs without a wide range of high-end features.
Toshiba (REGZA) TVs in Japan
In the Japanese market, the REGZA brand was the brand under which Toshiba TVs were sold. Following the acquisition of Toshiba Visual Solutions Corporation’s TV division by Hisense, the decision was made to retain the REGZA brand. This decision was logical because the REGZA brand had high recognition in the Japanese market.
According to a report by GFK Japan, Hisense had a significant share of the Japanese TV market in 2022, accounting for 33% of TV sales. This notable market share indicates Hisense’s successful penetration of the Japanese market, traditionally known for favoring local brands.
Toshiba TVs China, Brazil, India and other countries.
In various international markets, including China, India, and other countries, Toshiba’s branding approach depends on historical preferences; for example, in China, TVs are offered under the REGZA brand but at https://www.toshibatv.com.cn/. In India, TVs are sold under the Toshiba brand, as the REGZA brand is unknown. However, it would help if you realized that all TVs, REGZA and Toshiba, are assembled in Hisense factories in China. In Latin America, such as Brazil, Toshiba TVs are also manufactured by Hisense.
Regarding Internet presence and customer support, Hisense is taking a decentralized approach. Instead of keeping a centralized online resource for Toshiba TVs, Hisense makes a different resource for each country, which the country’s leading distributor most likely maintains.
Let’s summarize a little: in today’s world, only the brand is left from Toshiba TVs. The Toshiba inscription is glued on the TV made by Hisense. Now, it is a normal practice, and there is nothing unusual in it.