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Samsung Holds LCD Lead; Sony Takes Back RPTV

Samsung held the top spot in LCD TV shelf share, while Panasonic maintained its stranglehold on the top plasma slot for retail presence and Sony surged back to lead the rear-projection TV shelf-share rankings in the July to August period, according to shelf-share rankings from Current Analysis West, a company of The NPD Group.

The LCD TV category saw modest gains from Sony and Samsung, as both power brands continue their neck-and-neck battle for shelf share supremacy in the retail LCD TV market, Current Analysis West reported.

Samsung saw a 0.46 percent increase in its shelf share while Sony’s was 1.24.

Following closely behind Sony, in third position, was Philips, which increased its shelf share by 1 percentage point.

Notable for August was Polaroid’s 2.95 percentage point decrease from its 10.31 percent July shelf share. The manufacturer’s shelf share in July allowed it to capture second-place shelf positioning in the retail LCD TV market. Its July-to-August drop, however, resulted in fifth positioning for the manufacturer.

In the plasma TV category, Panasonic continued to gain shelf share points at the top of the category, increasing its shelf share by 2.76 percentage points over July to 23.09 percent.

Current Analysis West attributed the increase to the introduction of a 50-inch 1080p model (TH-50PE700U). The new model was placed at Costco and Sam’s Club, among other venues.

LG managed to lift its plasma shelf share 2.27 percentage points in August to 13.80 percent, for third place, behind Samsung’s 15.72 percent position. Current Analysis West said LG has seen a year-to-year increase in its shelf share of nearly 10 percentage points.

Current Analysis West noted the lack of new 1080p units introduced in the period. Except for the aforementioned unit from Panasonic, the remaining new product releases in July all consisted of 720p units.

The retail rear-projection TV (RPTV) market saw a big shelf-share gain by Sony for the month of August. Sony’s July-to-August shelf share increased by 3.79 percentage points, giving the manufacturer 31.45 percent shelf share in the retail RPTV market.

Aiding Sony’s rise was the release of two new sets, one of which (the KDS-60AL120) has placement at Costco and Sam’s Club.

Conversely, Panasonic saw a July-to-August decrease of 3.05 percentage points in its shelf share, resulting in a 1.57 percent shelf share figure for August.

Panasonic’s RPTV shelf share began a gradual climb in November 2006, reaching an apex of 14.02 percent in March 2007. Since then, the manufacturer’s shelf share has fallen dramatically, according to Current Analysis West.

In terms of new product releases, Samsung and Mitsubishi highlighted August with their respective 72-plus-inch releases.

“While the size appeal of both units certainly addresses consumer preference toward larger-size televisions, their prices do not. Consequently, the units’ audience will consist mostly of the enthusiast segment, which makes up a significant portion of the RPTV market,” stated the Current Analysis West report.