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Firm: Sony Boosted Q4 MD RPTV Market

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.

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.”

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 growth of JVC’s D-ILA (LCoS) RPTVs.

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.

North America accounted for 99 percent of the 1,080p MD RPTVs sold in Q4 2005, “due to the plethora of 1,080i content which looks better on a 1,080p than a 720p set,” DisplaySearch concluded.