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Vizio, Samsung battle for control of TV market

Television maker Vizio takes top spot in third-quarter LCD TV shipments, research firm iSuppli says. But when it comes to total TV market share, Samsung still leads.

Samsung still leads the TV market.
Samsung still leads the TV market. Samsung

Vizio has nabbed the top spot in the U.S. LCD television market, but Samsung still reigns supreme in overall TV shipments, research firm iSuppli is reporting.

During the third quarter, Vizio shipped more than 1.6 million televisions, capturing 19.9 percent of the U.S. LCD market. It was a sizable gain over its third quarter in 2009, when it had 15.3 percent market share. The company also gained compared with its second-quarter market share of 18.7 percent.

Last quarter, Samsung was the top LCD maker in the U.S. But with Vizio's success during the three-month period, Samsung dropped to second place with more than 1.4 million television shipments. It captured 17.7 percent market share during the quarter, up slightly from the 16.4 percent share it had during the same period last year. However, its third-quarter LCD shipments were down quite a bit from the 19.5 percent share it had in the second quarter.

Sony, LG, and Sanyo rounded out the top five with 9.9 percent, 9.2 percent, and 6.9 percent market share, respectively.

Although Samsung trailed Vizio in LCD shipments, iSuppli said that the company was able to increase plasma shipments by 7.2 percent, landing it atop all television makers during the third quarter.

During the period, Samsung had 19.3 percent market share of all television shipments to the U.S. It shipped a total of more than 1.8 million TVs during the period, representing a sizable gain over the 17 percent market share it had a year ago.

Vizio was still able to hold on to the second spot with 17 percent overall market share in the U.S. Last year, the company had just 13.6 percent market share.

LG, Panasonic, and Sony took the remaining three spots to round out the top five. They had 10.9 percent, 8.6 percent, and 8.5 percent market share during the period, respectively.

Although much of the talk in the television space revolves around LCDs, plasmas enjoyed a strong quarter. In fact, iSuppli found that "overall plasma TV shipments in the United States increased in the third quarter compared to the second." It said that "aggressive pricing" on plasmas led that charge. Moreover, iSuppli found that "consumers are showing interest in the 50-inch-and-larger plasma TVs from premium brands that boast of features like built-in Internet connections and full HD resolution at lower prices than comparable LCD TVs."

All told, nearly 9.4 million televisions were shipped to the U.S. in the third quarter.

Further reading: CNET's television reviews