Samsung, Sony, Vizio vie for North American LCD TV leadership

Competition in the North American LCD TV market intensified in the first quarter of 2008 as the battle for the sales lead tightened up among the top three brands, according to iSuppli.

Unit shipments for the region’s leading brands, Samsung Electronics, Sony and Vizio, were separated by 0.3 of a percentage point in the first quarter, down from 1.8 points in the last quarter of 2007, the research firm said. The three companies are engaged in an aggressive pricing battle as they vie to attract the attention of consumers.

The top three accounted for 40 percent of unit market share in the first quarter, indicating they are starting to separate themselves from the pack. In the first quarter, 4.7 percentage points of market share separated No. 3 Vizio from No. 4 Sharp, up from 2.9 points in the fourth quarter, according to iSuppli.

Samsung dominates LCD TV sales in the 21in-24in range. Sony leads in shipments of televisions in the 40in-41in, 45in-to-46in and 50in-to-54in ranges, while Vizio dominates the market in the 25in-29in, 30in-34in, 35in-39in and 47in-49in segments.

The pace of LCD TV sales growth in North America is starting to slow, according to iSuppli. LCD TV unit shipments in North America are expected to rise by only 26.6 percent in 2008, reaching 27.4 million units. This will be down from the 88.8 percent rise in 2007 and the 92.6 percent increase in 2006, the researcher said.

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