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7 Surprising Reasons Why TCL TVs Are So Cheap (2023)

Why Are TCL TVs So Cheap

Undoubtedly TCL is one of the biggest TV sellers at the moment.

They’re even ranked #3 in TV market share in the United States.

One of the reasons for this high position is because their TVs are cheap.

Now you’re wondering why?

Well, I got the answers for you.

Keep reading to discover:

  • 7 surprising reasons why TCL TVs are so cheap.
  • How TCL’s vertical integration creates lower TV prices.
  • Why TCL’s collaboration with Roku makes cheaper TVs.
  • How your viewing behavior can lower the price of TCL TVs.
  • And lots more… 

Why are TCL TVs so cheap? 7 reasons

#1: Roku’s built-in

Car manufacturers have a secret that TCL knows about:

They use parts of other companies, so they don’t have to do everything themselves.

This way, they can improve their product and save costs.

TCL does something similar.

Overall, smart TVs have a reputation for being a bit difficult to use.

Navigating through different menus and looking for online content can be tricky.

Roku, on the other hand, made this very user-friendly.

That’s why people tend to buy their streaming devices.

With the Roku remote, you simply tap a few buttons to access streaming apps like Netflix or Youtube.

Also, the range of apps is enormous. You name it, they have it.

Moreover, Roku releases updates to fix bugs and other issues.

TV manufacturers tend to be slower with this.

So, if you’re a TV maker, why would you create your own interface if Roku already has something great?

This is also what TCL thought. And that’s why they collaborated.

They now offer TVs with the Roku player already built-in.

As a result, you don’t need to buy a separate streaming device.

So, this already saved you a few bucks.

What’s more, TCL doesn’t have to spend much time and money to create its own interface and streaming player.

Roku already does the job.

And because TCL saved some money on this, they can offer cheap TVs.

You might also like: 9 Ways To Fix A Roku TV That Won’t Connect To WiFi

#2: Streaming data is being collected

Watching online content is the new way of watching TV.

As mentioned, Roku makes your viewing experience user-friendly.

As a result, you can simply install and access your favorite streaming apps.

But no lunch is for free…

Because these apps and streaming players are tracking your viewing behavior.

In other words, they’re watching you watching TV.

This data is being collected and shared with marketers and advertisers.

In that way, they can then promote more precisely.

Because of this, TV prices are getting lower since they’ll earn it back by sharing your viewing behavior.

And you may think:

’’How do they get away with all this?’’

Well, most users accept the default settings when setting up their TV.

Plus, even if you would like to prevent this data collection…

It’s hard to turn it off completely.

#3: Vertical integration

At reason #1, I explained that TCL has Roku built-in and that this helps them to save costs.

You might think that TCL outsources everything.

But that’s not the case.

Actually, most of the TV components they manufacture themselves, such as:

  • Cases.
  • Screens.
  • Speakers.
  • Connections.

These are all produced by TCL.

Therefore, they control the entire manufacturing process.

TCL takes direct ownership of its TVs and doesn’t need to rely on partners.

It’s called vertical integration.

And by doing so, the entire production is way more efficient.

As a result, it reduces costs.

And TCL isn’t doing this only for TVs.

They sell a whole range of other electronic products as well.

For example, TCL produces smartphones, air conditioners, washing machines, vacuum cleaners, etc.

Plus, they keep expanding their collection of consumer electronics.

Fun fact: TCL sold more than 40 million smartphones, almost 10 million air conditioners, and over 30 million TVs last year.

#4: Mother glass is more economical

Back in the 90s, TVs were more expensive than they do now.

If you wanted to buy a high-end HD TV back then, you had to pay around 8000 USD.

Nowadays, they cost around 350 USD, and you even have 4K. 

’’How is that possible?’’

Well, the manufacturing process of TVs became way cheaper, resulting in lower prices.

For example, TV screens are cut from a bigger piece known as mother glass.

Around 2004, the size was around 114 inches.

Nowadays, they come around 176 inches.

Meaning, you can cut more TV screens from it…

Especially if you consider the higher demand for 65- and 75-inch TVs.

And regardless of its size, the time to manufacture a mother glass is the same.

Therefore, bigger sizes are more economical.

As a result, TV price gets lower.

Read also: 7 Surprising Reasons Why Roku TVs Are So Cheap

#5: Avoiding early adopter tax

Did you ever get excited about a new product release but disappointed when you saw the price?

Well, I did. 

See, I wanted to buy a minidisc player, but I had to wait a few months when it got released.

So, the moment it was finally released, I rushed to the tech shop. 

There it was, standing on a special plateau! 

But the closer I got, the more zero’s I saw on the price tag.

And that was way over my budget.

Luckily, a year later, it was quite affordable, and I bought myself one.

By waiting, I was avoiding the early adopter tax.

So, prices are higher when new technology just comes out.

If it’s too high, consumers tend to wait to buy.

And when that happens, the demand depreciates.

As a result, the prices get lower. 

The same principle can be applied to the TV market.

If you want to know more about this, you can check out this video:

#6: Watching TV not on a TV

You often have your phone within reach.

A few taps away, and you’re locked in and watching a video on it.

This happens to me all the time.

Apparently, I’m not the only one.


According to the LA times, people spend more time on mobile devices than on TV.

In the United States, adults spend an average of 3 hours and 43 minutes on their smartphone or tablet.

Watching TV Not On A TV

That is 8 minutes more than they watch TV.

But it makes sense.

Your phone is often close to you.

And if you want to check a video, you just open a streaming app, and there it is.

As a result, the demand for TVs is diminishing.

As said before, a lower demand can bring lower prices.

#7: Valuable history

TCL didn’t become such a huge electronics company overnight.

It took them decades to turn this big as they’re now.

See, TCL started in 1981 in China.

But they didn’t stop there.

In 1999, they realized that going global was the key to their future.

They started first by carefully entering the Vietnamese market. 

And now, they’re selling in more than 160 countries worldwide.

TCL overcame many obstacles during this process and learned some valuable lessons.

This made them wiser and much more efficient.

Now, they put that information and wisdom back into their products.

As a result, they can compete with other TV companies like Samsung and Sony.