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Samsung Holds On To Top DTV Share

Samsung once again managed to hold onto the top market-share positions for retail shelf share in the plasma TV and rear-projection TV categories last month, while Sony maintained its top seating in the LCD TV category, according to an HDTV shelf-share scorecard issued by market research firm Current Analysis.

Steve Kovsky, Current Analysis TV products principal analyst, said that the race for placements among the leading national and regional retail chains was especially tight in May, as Panasonic made an aggressive push to reclaim its lead.

Samsung, however, ultimately prevailed by taking a 20.76 percent share of plasma placements, while Panasonic climbed 3.7 percent from the prior month to reach 20 percent share.

Philips, meanwhile, moved up from the No. 4 slot in April, pushing past Hitachi to assume third-place honors with a 9.26 percent share. Hitachi now stands at 8.95 percent of retail plasma placements, Current Analysis said.

During the period, Philips added a new SKU in the 42W-inch 42PF7321D into the warehouse club channel ($1,799 at BJ’s Wholesale Club, $1,299 at Sam’s Club). Hitachi, Panasonic and Sanyo also introduced new 42W-inch models. Hitachi was the only vendor to contribute a new 55W-inch model during the May-June period. Hitachi’s Hi-Plasma 55HDS69 appeared at Circuit City, selling for $4,299, the market researcher said.

In LCD TV, Sharp saw its share continue to slide, dropping 2.78 percentage points to 12.38 percent, but still managed to hold onto second place.

Sony, which repeated in first place, also dropped share, 0.15 percent from the prior month.

Samsung fell to fourth place, dropping 2.19 percent from its April-May standings. This allowed Magnavox to move into the No. 3 slot, gaining 0.31 percent to achieve a shelf share of 10.54 percent for the May-June period, Kovsky said.

Sanyo saw the biggest gain among the top 10 LCD suppliers, increasing its shelf share by 1.95 percent to secure the No. 8 slot with a May-June shelf share of 4.49 percent, Current Analysis said.

Twenty-seven new models were introduced in the period, including four Sony TVs, ranging from the 32-inch KDL-32S20L1 ($1,449 at Costco) to the 46-inch KDL-46S2000 ($3,499 at Circuit City, CompUSA and Fry’s Electronics; $3,582 at Tweeter), Kovsky said.

In rear-projection television, Samsung maintained its pole position with 23.51 percent share of product placements, declining 1.21 percent from the previous month, while No. 2 Sony also dropped 1.35 percent to finish the May-June period with 20.38 percent share of rear-projection TV placements.

“RCA is the shelf-share success story for [the period],” Kovsky said. “The vendor shot up from No. 5 in April-May with a shelf share of 8.73 percent to third place in May-June with a 15.47 percent share.”

The gain of 6.74 percent resulted from three new models introduced at Circuit City and Wal-Mart, at prices ranging from $999 (52-inch CRT-based R52WM24 at Circuit City) to $1,486 (50-inch, DLP-based M50WH72S at Wal-Mart), Kovsky said.

Mitsubishi stayed in fourth place with 12.30 percent, an increase of 3.52 percent of all available U.S. retail rear-projection product placements.

JVC took the lead in terms of product announcements for June, introducing five new LCoS-based RPTVs, Kovsky said. The new models in the HD-ILA line include the 52W-inch HD-52G787 ($2,174, Fry’s Electronics) and HD-52G887 ($2,299, Fry’s Electronics), the 56W-inch HD-567BP7 ($2,599, Best Buy), and the 61W-inch HD-617BP7 ($2,999, Best Buy) and HD-61G787 ($2,699, Fry’s Electronics).