By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Among the shelf-share rankings of top TV display brands, the new year started off much as 2007 ended, with Samsung leading the way in January LCD TV retail placements, Panasonic taking top plasma placements and lame-duck Sony continuing to command rear-projection TV retail placements, according to the January Display Shelf Share Report from The NPD Group, formerly Current Analysis West.
In LCD, NPD said 1080p models highlighted the month's new product placements, and recorded the biggest month-to-month shelf share gains from Philips, Magnavox and Vizio, according to the market research firm.
Philips, which ranked No. 3, increased its shelf share by 1.6 percentage points, resulting in 9.9 percent shelf share for the month. Philips sister brand Magnavox, which ranked No. 8 in shelf share, posted a 0.9 percentage point increase, giving it 4.9 percent shelf share total for January.
Vizio took a 0.3 percentage point increase, giving the company 6.9 percent shelf share, for its highest product placement ranking since October 2007.
In the period, The NPD Group said 1080p models dominated new product releases, making up 70 percent of the month's new additions. The most prevalent size of January's new releases was 42 inches, NPD said. One of the more noteworthy new models in the month was Syntax's 65-inch 1080p Olevia 265TFHD, which carried a $3,994 average selling price.
In January plasma TV placements, it wasn't surprising to find Panasonic still at the top of the ranks with 29.6 percent share. The positions of most players in the category varied little for December 2007, NPD said. Panasonic made the biggest December-to-January gain, with an increase of 1.3 percentage points.
Following Panasonic were Hitachi and Vizio, which saw gains of 0.6 and 0.5 percentage points, respectively, according to NPD.
As for new product placements, the market saw only one new retail product in December and none in January.
The shelf-share race for the rear-projection TV category became interesting to watch again, following Sony's decision to stop selling the category after current pipeline supply is cleared. Sony, with 31.5 percent share, led No. 2 Samsung by a mere 1.43 percentage points in the month, after Samsung (No. 2 at 30.07 percent) and RCA (No. 4 at 13.8 percent) made the biggest category shelf-share gains, NPD said.
Samsung's December-to-January gain of 2.9 percentage points gave the brand its highest figure in the past 12 months, according to NPD.
Aiding RCA's efforts were 50- and 52-inch models placed at Wal-Mart, which resulted in a 2.6 percentage point gain over its December share.
Mitsubishi ranked third with 15.29 percent shelf share in the period.
Two other brands that have announced plans to drop the category, Philips and Toshiba, posted the most notable month-to-month declines, with Philips showing a lack of presence in the RPTV retail segment, NPD said. Toshiba's 2.5 percentage point decline resulted in 3.3 percent shelf share for the month, its lowest in the past 12 months.
In the months ahead, the field is expected to get a major shakeup as the remaining brands seek to rule the roost in the contracting product segment.
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