LG Reclaims Lead in Plasma Sales

LG Electronics has reclaimed the top position for manufactured units of plasma flatscreens for Q1 2006, according to estimates by researcher iSuppli. The LG turnaround comes after nine months of declining share in the plasma display panel (PDP) market.

Globally, LG's PDP production share rose to just over 31 percent in Q1--compared with a 27.5 percent showing in Q4 2005. The new rankings place the South Korean consumer electronics giant slightly ahead of Matsushita of Japan (including the Panasonic brand), which spawned just under 26 percent of factory units. LG had last held the top spot in Q1 2005, said iSuppli.

Although the new rankings are only for one quarter, iSuppli of El Segundo, Calif., said in a statement that this latest development, nevertheless, "reflects a long-term trend of the South Korean PDP suppliers advancing at the expense of their Japanese and Taiwanese rivals."

Plasma units are currently facing especially stiff competition from LCD TV units (HD and lower formats) in the 40-to 44-inch range, where consequently, production is reportedly climbing rapidly.