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Vizio regains lead in U.S. LCD TV market, Samsung tops overall

Posted: 16 Jul 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:IHS? Vizio? Samsung? LCD TV market? plasma TV?

According to IHS, Vizio Inc. has reclaimed its lead in the U.S. LCD TV market one year after falling second place to Samsung. Vizio in 1Q12 shipped 1.21 million LCD TVs in the U.S., compared to 1.15 million units for Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. In 4Q11, Samsung led with shipments of 2.5 million units, compared to just 1.6 million for Vizio.

Vizio's recapturing of its first-place ranking came during a period of weak sales and shipments in general for LCD TVs. U.S. LCD TV market shipments in Q1 amounted to 6.6 million units, down 13 percent from 7.6 million in 1Q11. Shipments were also down 39 percent from the 4Q11, although a sequential decline in shipments is normal following the peak holiday selling season.

"The U.S. television market became saturated with higher-end products at the end of 2011," said Tom Morrod, senior analyst and head of TV technology at IHS. "When sales dropped according to normal seasonal patterns in the first quarter, shipments also fell for most brands. However, because of its low-cost product mix that appeals to mainstream consumers, Vizio was able to prevent its shipments from declining by a large margin."

Vizio's television shipments in Q1 declined by 25 percent compared to Q4, lower than the industry average, and represented the smallest rate of contraction among the Top 5 brands. This allowed Vizio's market share to climb to 19 percent in Q1, up sharply from 15 percent in Q4.

"Vizio benefitted from its focus on midrange and smaller sizes for LCD TVs that are sold at relatively low prices compared to larger, more feature-laden sets," added Morrod. "Vizio, in fact, dominates in the U.S. market for 32in and 42in setsthe most popular sizes in the country for LCD TVs."

While it moved down to second place in LCD TVs, Samsung maintained its lead in the overall U.S. TV market. Unlike Vizio, which only sells LCD TVs, Samsung also competes in the plasma TV market. The plasma business generated significant shipment volume for Samsung in Q1, allowing the South Korean firm to maintain its hold on the top rank.

"Samsung is very well positioned, not just in the U.S. LCD TV segment, but also globally in all television technologies, including plasma and emerging displays like active matrix organic light-emitting diodes (AMOLED)," Morrod stated. "Overall, Samsung is the world's leading brand, and its scale and scope mean that it can always compete in markets such as the United States. Samsung is also very well-positioned at the top end of the market, which has helped it generate profits over several years."

Samsung shipped a total of 1.4 million LCD TV and plasma sets combined in the U.S. in Q1, allowing it to best Vizio's total.

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