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Sony, Panasonic Win Shelves

March saw a number of new big-screen LCD TV models enter the U.S. retail market putting further pressure on the plasma and rear projection categories for technology market share dominance, according to Current Analysis’ monthly TV shelf share report.

Sony, with 13.28 percent of retail product placements, continued to hold its shelf-share lead in LCD TV category, despite a surge from Sharp, which introduced five new AQUOS LCD TV models in the period.

A total of 17 new models entered the retail market in March, most of which were in the 37-inch screen size segment.

Currently Analysis said that as the shift toward larger LCD models continues, plasma’s role as a dominant big screen technology will continue to erode.

Average sales prices (ASPs) for LCD TVs continued to shrink in the period, Current Analysis said.

“The trendline analysis indicates that the ASP for 16:9 models, which dominates more than 80 percent of the LCD TV units currently shipping in the U.S. retail market, shed $7 off the February ASP level of $1,520 to reach $1,513 this month,” stated Chanisa Imraporn, Current Anaysis’ displays product analyst.

In plasma, Panasonic continued to dominate shelf placements with 22.54 percent share in March. Meanwhile, the disruptive newcomer, Vizio, reached the top 10 ranking in March following the release of the VM60P at Costco and Sam’s Club warehouse club stores.

Ranking ninth in retail placements, Vizio managed to capture 3.94 percent plasma product presence share during the month. Vizio’s shelf-share has more than doubled in the past 12 months, Current Analysis said.

As ASPs for both 42-inch and 52-inch models continued to gradually decline, four plasma manufacturers each introduced new units into the U.S. retail market last month. These included the Hitachi 42-inch 42HDX99, the Tatung P42HSMR-UA2, the Toshiba 42HP16, and the VM60P from Vizio.

In rear projection, Sony and Samsung continued to battle it out for the top two positions, respectively, in March retail placements. Panasonic took the third spot with 14.025 percent of available retail shelf space, after Circuit City brought in the PT-52LCX65.

“LCD-based RPTV products saw a slight price inflation on a month-to-month basis, reaching an average sales price of $1,737 this month up from last month’s level of $1,678,” Imraporn said. “Likewise, the ASPs for DLP- and LCoS-based sets increased this month, adding another $128 and $77 to their previous average prices.”

Current Analysis said the increased average prices could have resulted from manufacturers’ moving to more SKUs capable of full HD 1080p native resolution.

Current Analysis said six new rear projection HDTVs entered the retail market in March. JVC introduced its first 1080p 70-inch model, the HD-70FN97 at Fry’s Electronics; Samsung released four models – the 1080p HL-S6767W, the HL-T4675S, the HL-T5075S, and the HL-T5675S; and Sony added the new KDS-50A2020 to the 1080p segment.