Firm: Sony Boosted Q4 MD RPTV Market

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Austin, Texas – A strong performance from Sony’s LCD and SXRD-based rear-projection TVs boosted an otherwise flat worldwide market for microdisplay rear-projection TVs (MD RPTV), according to a fourth quarter 2005 market share report from The NPD Group’s DisplaySearch unit.

Excluding Sony, global MD RPTV sales would have grown just 1 percent quarter to quarter in the period, DisplaySearch said. With Sony’s MD RPTV shipments included, category shipments jumped 49 percent quarter to quarter and 52 percent year to year to total 946,000 units, according to the report.

Worldwide MD RPTV revenues rose 49 percent quarter to quarter and 30 percent year to year to $2.3 billion with average selling prices remaining flat quarter to quarter and down 14 percent year to year. The average selling price for a MD RPTV was $2,419, the firm said.

Fourth quarter MD RPTV sales accounted for 64 percent of the total RPTV market in 2005 on a unit basis, up from 57 percent, and 82 percent of the RPTV market on a revenue basis. For the year, MD RPTV shipments rose 53 percent to 2.5 million units with revenues rising 28 percent to $6.1 billion.

The DisplaySearch report tracked MD RPTV shipments from 18 different brands, by size and region and found Sony accounted for "more than one out of every two MD RPTVs sold in [the quarter], earning a 54 percent share, up from 32 percent on 153 percent quarter to quarter growth and 113 percent year to year growth.

Sony saw at least a 53 percent share and at least 60 percent growth in each region of the world. The company took market share from all major players except JVC and Hitachi, DisplaySearch said.

Other top five worldwide MD RPTV market share leaders in the period included: No. 2 Samsung (13.6 percent, down for 21.1 percent in the year-ago period); No. 3 Toshiba (6.8 percent, down from 8.7 percent a year ago); No. 4 JVC (6.3 percent, up from 5.9 percent a year ago) and No. 5 Mitsubishi (5.5 percent, down from 13 percent a year ago).

By size and resolution, Sony led at 40-44 inch, 50-54 inch 720p and 1,080p, 55-59 inch 720p, 60-inch-plus 720p and 60-inch-plus 1,080p. The only size/resolution categories not led by Sony were 45-49 inch 720p, which was led by Toshiba, and 55-59 inch 1,080p, which was led by JVC.

North American MD RPTV sales hit 800,000 MD RPTV units, accounting for 87 percent of world MD RPTV sales in the period, down from 88 percent a year ago. North American MD RPTV sales rose 47 percent quarter to quarter and 54 percent year to year. On a revenue basis, North America's share was slightly higher due to the adoption of more expensive LCoS and 1,080p sets, the report said.

Market share by MD RPTV technology showed that both LCD RPTVs and LCoS RPTVs each earned significant growth in the fourth quarter on a sell-in basis, while DLP RPTV sales contracted after seeing rapid growth in the third quarter.

As a result, world LCD RPTV sales regained the top MD RPTV position with its share rising from 46 percent to 54 percent. LCoS RPTVs saw "dramatic growth," DisplaySearch said, "due to the successful launch of Sony's SXRD (LCoS) products in North America as well as the continued growth of JVC's D-ILA (LCoS) RPTVs.

LCoS RPTV shipments rose 236 percent quarter to quarter and 405 percent year to year in the fourth quarter, earning a 16 percent share of the MD RPTV market, up from 7 percent in the third quarter of 2005, according to the report.

DisplaySearch said "consumers embraced the benefits of higher resolution MD RPTVs in [the period] with the 1,080p share rising from 7 percent to 15 percent on 222 percent quarter to quarter growth.

DLP and LCoS RPTVs experienced significant growth at 1,080p resolution with the 1,080p share of LCoS shipments growing from 13 percent to 64 percent and the 1,080p share of DLP RPTV shipments rising from 13 percent to 18 percent.

In North America, the 1,080p share of MD RPTVs rose from 8 percent in the third quarter of 2005 to 18 percent in the fourth quarter. North America accounted for 99 percent of the 1080p MD RPTVs sold in the fourth quarter of 2005, "due to the plethora of broadcasted 1,080i content which looks better on a 1,080p than a 720p set," DisplaySearch concluded, and because early adopters were preparing for the availability of 1,080p broadcasted and packaged content."


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