Vizio Retains Slim LCD Lead over Surging Samsung

Vizio continues to hold the lead in LCD HD shipments for the second quarter of 2009, but Samsung has made major inroads in America in the three-month interval — largely thanks to the marketing of its LED backlight units which are proving increasingly popular with consumers.

According to a new survey by iSuppli, Samsung's share of U.S. LCD-TV shipments rose to more than 21 percent for the quarter, compared to just under an 18 percent share in the first quarter. Samsung's gain (the largest of any LCD brand in the second quarter) places the South Korean firm a mere 0.4 percent behind Vizio, compared to a gap of more than 3.5 percent in the first quarter.

Market analyst iSuppli estimates 2.2 percent of quarterly LCD shipments in America had LED backlighting (compared to virtually nothing during the same quarter a year earlier). In "mature markets" like the United States, iSuppli said, an increasing number of LCD-TV purchases are replacements of first-gen flat panel sets. And in these cases, it says, consumers are gravitating toward LED units, along with other higher-spec models.

Worldwide penetration of the LED-backlight technology for LCD-TV panels will increase more than ten-fold to better than a third (37 percent) of all LCD shipments by 2013, iSuppli predicts.

Overall, the American LCD-TV market posted a strong performance in the second quarter, with shipments rising by 8.7 percent (nearly 7 million units) from the previous quarter.