|Founded||October 2002; 14 years ago (2002-10) (as V Inc.)
Costa Mesa, California, U.S.
|Headquarters||Irvine, California, U.S.|
|William Wang (CEO)
Matthew McRae (CTO)
|Products||AV electronics; LCD TVs, surround sound systems, HDTV accessories, LCD computer monitors, laptops, all-in-one personal computers, telecommunications|
|Revenue||$3.1 billion (2014)|
Vizio Inc. is an American privately held company that develops consumer electronics. Headquartered in Irvine, California, United States, the company was founded in October 2002 as V Inc. and is best known as a producer of affordable flat-screen televisions. In July 2016, Vizio announced that it would be acquired by Chinese technology company LeEco.
The company was founded in 2002 as V Inc. by William Wang (Chinese: 王蔚; pinyin: Wáng Wèi), Laynie Newsome, and Ken Lowe with $600,000 and three employees. In 2006 the revenue was estimated around $700 million, and in 2007 it was estimated to have exceeded $2 billion. Vizio is known for aggressively pricing their HDTVs against major competitors.
On October 19, 2010, Vizio signed a 4-year contract to sponsor college football's annual Rose Bowl game in Pasadena, California, beginning with the 2011 Rose Bowl presented by Vizio and ending with the 2014 Vizio BCS National Championship Game. When the Rose Bowl contract ended, Vizio signed a contract to sponsor the Fiesta Bowl making the official name the Vizio Fiesta Bowl.
As of 2012, Vizio had over 400 employees. About half work at its headquarters in Irvine, California, in engineering, design, sales, and operations, while the other half are employed at a call center in Dakota Dunes, South Dakota.
Vizio manufactures its products in Mexico and China under agreements with ODM assemblers in those countries.
On December 31, 2014, Vizio acquired Advanced Media Research Group, Inc., the parent of entertainment website BuddyTV, in order to expand content and service offerings from Vizio's Smart TV platform.
On July 24, 2015, Vizio filed with U.S. regulators to raise up to $172.5 million in an initial public offering of Class A common stock. Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank Securities and Citigroup are among the underwriters of the IPO, Vizio told the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in a preliminary prospectus. The filing did not reveal how many shares the company planned to sell or their expected price. The company has applied to list its Class A common stock on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “VZIO.”
On August 10, 2015, Vizio acquired Cognitive Media Networks, Inc, a market leading provider of automatic content recognition (ACR). The Cognitive Network business was subsequently renamed Inscape Data Services.
On July 26, 2016, Vizio CEO William Wang announced that Chinese technology company LeEco was acquiring Vizio in a US$2 billion deal, with plans to run the company as a wholly owned subsidiary. Inscape will be spin off and operate as a separate, privately owned company led by Wang.
Today, Vizio sells its products to various retailers in the United States, such as Best Buy, Walmart, Costco, and Sam's Club. Internationally, Vizio flat-screen TVs are sold in Japan at Costco locations in that country. Vizio products are also sold in China.
Television sets are Vizio's primary product category, and in 2007 the manufacturer became the largest LCD TV seller (by volume) in North America with 606,402 TVs sold, a 76% jump from the previous quarter while its market share increased from 9.4% to 14.5%. In September 2008, Vizio started selling LCD TVs to Costco in Japan. In February 2009, Vizio announced they would stop production of plasma televisions and would focus on the LED-backlit LCD displays instead.
Vizio unveiled a new range of televisions including Vizio's M line with 65-inch screens; ultra-wide televisions with 50-, 58-, and 71-inch screen sizes; two all-in-one desktop computers (24-inch and 27-inch); three notebooks (one 14-inch and two 15-inch); and a 10-inch tablet at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show.
Vizio "Smart TV" sets track viewers' habits and share them with advertisers, a practice that cable TV companies are prohibited from doing but that Vizio says is legal for TV manufacturers. On February 6 of 2017, the Federal Trade Commission announced a settlement with Vizio to pay $2.2 million to settle charges by the FTC and the Office of the New Jersey Attorney General that it installed software on its TVs to collect viewing data on 11 million consumer TVs without consumers’ knowledge or consent. The settlement required Vizio to delete the data it had captured and change its data collection practices.
Vizio also produces other audio/video equipment such as High Definition Surround Sound systems, LCD monitors and HDTV accessories. The company released its first Blu-ray Disc player in August 2009. In 2011 Vizio extended its portfolio of electronics devices to mobile phones, with the name Via Phone, and tablets, named Via Tablet. The new phones and tablets were shown at 2011 Consumer Electronics Show. See specifics below.
In 2012 Vizio introduced its 14-inch ultrabook Vizio CT14 with the third generation Intel Core i7 processors and 128 GB SSD. On October 2012 Vizio updated this series with a new Windows 8 OS. This change was also applied to the Vizio notebook series.
Vizio also introduced several new full 1080p HD Android smartphones in the Asian markets, but particularly China. The devices feature high-end specs, with the 5-inch VP800 featuring 2 GB RAM, Full HD Display, and 8MP camera. The more budget-oriented VP600 features a dual-core processor, 4.7-inch 720p HD display, and Android Jelly Bean OS. Vizio announced these developments in a press release; however, past media releases show that this is not Vizio's first product in the mobile telephony sector.
The company introduced the "VIZIO Co-Star" a Google TV digital media player, in 2012.
A Vizio sound bar (model: S3821w) was recommended by Consumer Reports as its "Best Buy" (based on a combination of quality and price) in a comparison of competing sound bars dated January 2014.
In November 2015 it was revealed that Vizio was collecting information on its customers and selling it to advertisers. To settle the case, in which Vizio were accused of using 11 million televisions to spy on customers, the company agreed to pay out $2.2 million.
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