Midsize LCD sales: Major names beat Vizios

A new report on North American LCD TV sales has Sony and Samsung, among other major names, pulling ahead of Vizio and other lesser-known brands.

Cheaper entry-level models, like this $700 Sony, have spurred medium-size LCD sales among big brands. CNET

A new report by iSuppli once again puts major names squarely atop the North American midsize LCD TV sales heap, after significant year-over-year sales gains at the expense of lesser-known firms like Vizio and now-bankrupt Syntax-Brillian.

Last year Vizio was a surprise LCD sales leader. But during the second quarter of 2008, Samsung led the way among 30-inch to 34-inch LCD TVs with a 17.6-percent share of the North American LCD TV market, which is up significantly from 8.5 percent a year earlier. TVs with screen sizes measuring between 30 inches and 34 inches comprise 34.1 percent of the LCD market in North America.

Meanwhile, Sony came in second with a 12.8 percent share, up from just 4.9 percent a year before. Conversely, Vizio fell from a 17.3-percent share in Q2 2007 to a 6-percent share this year.

Crave's Erica Ogg reported on the trend earlier this year , writing "Both Sony and Samsung have already responded to Vizio's price pressure with lower-cost LCD TVs of their own." The response seems to have paid off, according to iSuppli analyst Riddhi Pattel.

"[One year ago], the price differential between premium and value brands was more than $500 for [the 30-inch to 34-inch] size. However, premium brands recently have introduced value line-ups at prices comparable to value brands and available across all types of retail channels."

Part of Vizio's response has been to introduce higher-end models, like the SV470XVT, a 47-inch LCD with the ballyhooed 120Hz step-up feature. But among smaller sets, the company faces a big problem: at the bottom end it can only go so low. As CNET's David Carnoy remarked, "Vizio's entry-level 32-inch LCD, which came out for $600 a year ago. It still costs $600 today."

Reuters via EngadgetHD

About the author

Section Editor David Katzmaier has reviewed TVs at CNET since 2002. He is an ISF certified, NIST trained calibrator and developed CNET's TV test procedure himself. Previously David wrote reviews and features for Sound & Vision magazine and eTown.com. He is known to two people on Twitter as "The Cormac McCarthy of consumer electronics."


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