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Sony Aces LCD TV Market Share

2/24/2006 11:44:00 AM Eastern

Austin, Texas — Market researcher DisplaySearch is reporting that Sony jumped from fourth place to first in worldwide LCD TV unit and revenue market share during the fourth quarter of 2005, while the combined Philips and Magnavox brands took top unit sales market share in North America.

DisplaySearch, which is part of The NPD Group, said Sony rose to the No. 1 spot in both worldwide unit sales and revenue of LCD TV after introducing its BRAVIA series, and optimizing panel capacity through its S-LCD TFT LCD joint manufacturing venture with Samsung.

Sony's share rose 164 percent, from 9 percent, to 15 percent, of the global LCD TV market in the quarter, DisplaySearch said. Fifty-six percent of output came in screen sizes 32 inches and larger, the highest of any of the top eight suppliers, according to the firm.

Sony enjoyed over 900 percent quarter-to-quarter growth at 40 inches and over, 175 percent growth at 32 inches. The company took the No. 1 position in both the 30-inch to 32-inch and 40-inch to 42-inch screen size categories, according to DisplaySearch.

Sony was also No. 1 in the 26-inch to 27-inch and 22-inch to 23-inch markets.

DisplaySearch said Sony held a 19 percent to 13 percent revenue share advantage over Sharp, which had been No. 1 on both a unit and revenue basis worldwide since the inception of the LCD TV market.

By region on a revenue basis, Sony was No. 1 in LCD TV revenue in North America, overtaking Sharp, according to DisplaySearch.

On a unit basis, combined the Philips/Magnavox brands were No. 1 in North America, but fell to No. 2 in Europe, behind Samsung, according to the report. Philips maintained the No. 1 position in the 15-19 inch market worldwide.

The combined Philips and Magnavox brands, with a 14 percent worldwide share, took the No. 2 global spot in LCD TV unit volume in the fourth quarter of 2005, DisplaySearch said. The brands registered 48 percent quarter-to-quarter.

“Due to a significant emphasis at smaller sizes, [Philips/Magnavox] fell from No. 2, to No. 4, on a revenue basis,” stated DisplaySearch.

The fourth quarter market research report said Sharp fell from No. 1, to No. 3, on a unit basis and from No. 1 to No. 2 on a revenue basis due to supply constraints.

“This was the first quarter Sharp was not No. 1 worldwide in LCD TV units and revenues since the inception of the LCD TV market,” the report states. “A lack of capacity growth and insufficient external sourcing prevented it from keeping up with market demand. As a result, while it remained No. 1 in Japan on a unit basis, it fell from No. 2, to No. 3, in North America and from No. 3, to No. 5, in Europe.”

By size, it remained No. 1 worldwide at 10 inches to 14 inches, 20 inches to 21 inches, 35 inches to 39 inches, and 45 inches and larger, but fell from No. 1, to No. 4, at 30 inches to 34 inches, according to DisplaySearch.

The fourth-quarter 2005 worldwide LCD TV report, which is available from DisplaySearch, tracks shipments for 43 different LCD TV brands as well as sub-brands.

Overall, the report said LCD TV panel sell-in volumes were and sell-through numbers were all higher than expected in period. Worldwide sell-in levels were said to reach 8.6 million units for the quarter and 21.2 million units for the full year. The latter was a 141 percent increase.

Region by region, North American LCD TV shipments were up 26 percent quarter-to-quarter. China led all regions with a 74 percent increase, followed by Europe with 73 percent, DisplaySearch said.

The report said that shipments of LCD TVs 37 inches and larger rose 148 percent in the fourth quarter to over 1 million units, accounting for a 12 percent share on a unit basis and 29 percent share on a revenue basis.

The LCD TV unit share of the 40-inch to 44-inch segment nearly tripled from the third quarter of 2005 to 17 percent in fourth quarter, “taking share from PDP TVs and CRT rear-projection TVs,” DisplaySearch said.

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