Current Analysis, the consumer electronics market research firm based here, said Samsung unseated Panasonic's long hold on the No. 1 spot in plasma TV retail shelf share during the month of January.
According to the firm's shelf-share TV scorecard report, Samsung's plasma TV shelf share at top retailers around the country rose nearly 4 percent, to 17.56 percent, to take the lead in the U.S. market, pushing Panasonic to second place at 17.27 percent.
Current Analysis senior analyst Steve Kovsky attributed Samsung's advancement to new product placements for the 50W-inch HPR5012 at Costco and the HPR5052 at Sears.
Philips, which also added a new plasma model during the month, saw its plasma shelf-share climb 1.24 percent, to 9.34 percent, for the third spot in the shelf-share rankings.
Kovsky said shelf-share market share numbers tend to correlate well with actual retail sell-through numbers at the end of the month.
Hitachi, which saw its shelf-share slip 2.3 percent, to 7.7 percent, in the period, dropped to fourth place, while one-time plasma leader Sony, which made a decision last year to emphasize LCD TVs over plasma models, registered a steep one-month decline from fourth place in December to 12th place in January with 3.5 percent share.
Kovsky said Sony's “major drop reflected the loss of several key product placements at Circuit City, Best Buy and Sears.”
In LCD TV, Current Analysis said second-ranked Sony held steady with a 15.1 percent share while market leader Sharp saw its shelf-share lead slip 2 percentage points, to 16.33 percent, during the month.
“In the period, Toshiba posted strong growth in product placements, moving from 5.34 percent in December to 6.43 percent in January and securing the number five spot in U.S. retail rankings,” Kovsky said.
Also on the rise was Polaroid, which added 1.46 percent to hit 2.76 percent after placing a 20-inch LCD TV with discount giant Wal-Mart.