September 10, 2008 / 2:45 AM / 11 years ago

Major brands gain LCD TV market share in North America

TAIPEI (Reuters) - Global electronics giants Samsung (005930.KS) and Sony (6758.T) made sharp gains in the North American LCD TV market in the second quarter, largely at the expense of lesser known Taiwan firms, according to a report.

A visitor looks at a Sharp Corp. 108-inch (273-cm) LCD TV at the CEATEC technology trade show in Chiba, Japan October 2, 2007. REUTERS/Michael Caronna

Samsung was the leading seller of 30- to 34-inch LCD TVs in North America by unit shipments, with 17.6 percent of the market in the second quarter, up sharply from just 7.8 percent in the first quarter and 8.5 percent a year earlier, according to a report released late on Tuesday by iSuppli.

Sony came in second, with a 12.8 percent share, up from 9.5 percent in the first quarter and 4.9 percent in the second quarter of 2007, iSuppli said.

The top five spots were big-name brands, including Philips (PHG.AS) at No. 3 with 8 percent share, Sharp (6753.T) with 7.2 percent and LG Electronics (066570.KS) with 6.5 percent.

The latest ranking marked a sharp contrast from a year earlier, when Vizio, the low-cost brand owned by Taiwan’s Amtran Technology (2489.TW), led the market with a 17.3 percent share. Since then Vizio has seen its share drop to 6 percent in the second quarter of 2008.

Another value brand, Syntax Brillian BRLCQ.PK, which bought its LCD TVs from Taiwan’s Kolin 1606.TW, has also seen its share drop sharply, forcing Syntax Brillian to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in July.

Amtran shares are down 35 percent this year, while Kolin shares are down 94 percent as it prepares to delist.

“Once the province of value brands, the market for 32-inch LCD-TVs in North America now is becoming increasingly dominated by premium nameplates,” iSuppli said in a statement.

iSuppli said that 30- to 34-inch LCD TVs accounted for 34.1 percent of the total North American LCD-TV market in the second quarter.

“One year ago, value brands like Vizio were leaders in this space because of their aggressive pricing and availability at mass merchandisers like Wal-Mart and Target,” iSuppli analyst Riddhi Patel said.

“At that time, the price differential between premium and value brands was more than $500 for that size. However, premium brands recently have introduced value line-ups at prices comparable to value brands and available across all types of retail channels.”

Reporting by Doug Young; Editing by Ken Wills

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