IHS: Samsung Dusts Vizio In Q4 LCD Shipments

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El Segundo, Calif. -

Samsung's

share of the U.S. LCD TV market reached a record high in the fourth quarter of 2011, topping all competitors, according to a new

IHS iSuppli

"Television Systems Service" study.

In the period, Samsung accounted for nearly one-quarter (23.6 percent) of U.S. LCD TV shipments, the study showed.

The achievement was "the largest share of the market ever posted by Samsung on a quarterly basis, and allowed the South Korean electronics giant to pad its lead over No. 2 brand Vizio of Irvine, Calif.," according to IHS.

"Samsung triumphed in the price war that raged in the U.S. LCD market in the fourth quarter of 2011," stated Tom Morrod, IHS iSuppli senior analyst and TV technology head. "The company was able to offer a range of price-competitive sets with a rich choice of features that U.S. consumers wanted. This allowed the company to outperform the competition during the all-important holiday selling season."

iSuppli said Samsung made its advancements in part by offering consumers a clearly delineated assortment of SKUs by feature sets and price points, eliminating confusion.

As an example, the report cited two LCD TV models that were identical in every way, except that one integrated the older CCFL backlighting, while the other employed the newer and more expensive LED technology.

Samsung was able to put further distance (a total of 8.2 percentage points) between No. 2-ranked Vizio, in the quarter, up from 6.2 points in the third quarter.

In the same period in 2010, Vizio was ranked No. 1, leading Samsung by 7.2 points.

IHS said Samsung may be positioned to further expand its lead in 2012 as the recent Free Trade Agreement between the United States and South Korea will removes tariffs imposed on Korean firms selling TVs in America, according to Morrod.

"Because of this accord, Samsung and fellow South Korean-brand LG Electronics are poised to increase their shipments in the United States this year," he said.

 U.S. LCD TV market shipments experienced strong sequential growth in the fourth quarter of 2011, rising by 30.7 percent when compared with the third quarter.

Lower-than-expected demand and uncertainty about the U.S. economic recovery had caused LCD shipments to fall going into the second quarter.

However, aggressive pricing helped boost sales at the end of the year -- the time when holiday sales typically peak, IHS observed.

Overall average LCD TV prices in the fourth quarter fell to about $1,032, a $16 drop from the third quarter.

The strong fourth-quarter increase helped the U.S. LCD TV market eke out a small increase in 2011, with shipments rising to 33.4 million units for the year, up 0.4 percent from 33.2 million in 2010.

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