Samsung Wins LCD Dogfight for Q1

May 8, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Flat-screen televisions may be thin, but their manufacturers’ market-share differences in the U.S. are thinner.
Samsung, Sony and Vizio ended the first quarter nearly in a dead heat within the surging North American liquid-crystal display television market, according to NPD Group unit DisplaySearch.
Samsung, which sold 12.8% of liquid-crystal display TVs in North America, was No. 1 for the first time in four quarters, with Sony and Vizio selling 12.6% and 12.5% of the units, respectively.
Overall, North American shipments of LCD sets, which are almost all high-definition televisions, jumped 59%, DisplaySearch said Wednesday.
That jump helped Samsung Electronics boost first-quarter earnings by 37%. The company, which gets about 25% of its revenue from LCDs, last week said it sold 4.34 trillion won ($4.22 billion) in first-quarter LCDs, which threw off a 23% profit margin.
Seoul-based Samsung said it planned to invest more than 3.7 trillion won in capital expenditures related to LCDs, particularly those with screens 46 inches and larger.
More stunning still is the performance of Vizio, which doubled its first-quarter LCD shipments from a year earlier. The closely held Irvine, Calif.-based company, which specializes in lower-priced HDTVs and sells many of its televisions at big-box retailers such as Costco and Wal-Mart, was founded in 2002.
Last year, Vizio’s revenue more than doubled to almost $2 billion, up from $142 million in 2005, the Wall Street Journal reported last month, citing the company.
As customers flock to LCDs, they’re moving away from plasma sets, whose first-quarter North American shipments dropped 9% from a year ago. Matsushita’s Panasonic has about a third of that market, while LG Electronics and Samsung sold 19% and 18%, respectively, of North America’s plasma TVs, according to DisplaySearch.


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