Samsung WiseNet Lite Challenges Hikvision Low Cost

By John Honovich, Published Apr 10, 2015, 12:00am EDT

It has been the 'Chinese' pushing down IP cameras at a feverish pace.

Now, Samsung is joining.

In this note, we review the features and pricing of Samsung's new Wisenet Lite series versus Samsung's WiseNet III offerings as well as Axis and Hikvision.

Samsung Existing Offerings

Samsung WiseNet III cameras are quite inexpensive for the true WDR, strong low light and bandwidth savings they provide (see IPVM WiseNet III test results). However, Samsung simply did not have any budget / low-end cameras (e.g., fixed focal, non-WDR, sub $200).

WiseNet Lite vs WiseNet III

While they share the same brand, the two lines are quite different, as Samsung clearly explained:

"Wisenet III uses the superior low light sensor with state of art algorithm in combination to deal with low light. Wisenet Lite is new lineup with new sensor and chipset which we targeted at competitive quality and performance offering against low cost competitors. Wisenet III would still outperform Wisenet Lite in terms of low light, WDR performance and with auto focus for easy installation." [IPVM emphasis added]"

WiseNet Lite Particulars

Samsung is releasing 10 cameras for WiseNet, including 3 bullets and 7 domes. The 2MP versions are already shipping, see the models / spaces in the IPVM Camera Finder. As reference, Samsung has a 2MP IR fixed focal dome, the SND-L6013R, with an MSRP of $249. With Samsung's sizeable discount structure we expect street pricing to be in the $160 range.

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Samsung is also including 6 varifocal cameras in the Lite series, with the 2MP varifocal IR dome having an MSRP of $419, and an estimated street price in the high $200s.

Vs Axis and Hikvision

Axis has not competed hard on price in the low end, save for their recent price cuts on older models. Even with those cuts, Samsung Lite is still far less expensive. For example, the Axis M3005-V has street pricing of ~$280, after the cuts, compared to the the Lite SND-L6013R, which has an MSRP of $249, an effective street price way under $200 and includes IR, which the 3005 does not.

Relative to Hikvision, the pricing matchup with Samsung Lite is closer, with models typically being in the same price range. One dealer suprisingly noted that his Samsung Lite pricing is actually less than what he pays for similar Hikvision models at ADI.

Competitive Impact

Samsung has a well known overall respected brand, something that newer surveillance specific manufacturers, like Dahua and Hikvision, do not. A major criticism of those buying Dahua and Hikvision is that you were taking risks with relatively unknown Chinese companies.

Now, with Samsung effectively price matching Hikvision, it provides a strong alternative for those who want the low prices but without those reputational fears.

As one industry insider lamented:

"There is no money in integration anymore. Soon we'll be talking about how we remember when megapixel cameras cost $500/ea."

The price pressure is certainly going to intensify with Samsung's move here, forcing Western manufacturers to deliver new value added features or to exit the low end of the market.

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