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Friday, September 04, 2009
Samsung Maintains Worldwide LCD-TV Lead in the Second Quarter

Samsung in the second quarter maintained its lead in the global LCD-TV market, partly due to a surge in shipments of its LED-backlit sets, according to iSuppli Corp.

Samsung?s worldwide LCD-TV shipments for the second quarter amounted to 5.7 million units, up 605,956 from 5.1 million in the first quarter, the largest unit increase of all LCD-TV brands during the quarter. The 12 percent growth gave Samsung a market share of 18.5 percent.

"Samsung in the second quarter was very aggressive in introducing and marketing LCD-TVs that featured LED backlights," said Riddhi Patel, principal analyst, television, for iSuppli. "This put Samsung at the forefront of this fast-growing technology trend, helping to boost the company?s sales during the period."

Unlike traditional Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) televisions that generate their own light, LCD-TVs require an additional illumination source?or backlight?in order to present a visible image. LCDs historically have employed Fluorescent Lamps (CCFLs) as backlights. However, because of price reductions, LEDs in recent years have become a viable alternative to CCFLs.

LEDs deliver multiple advantages compared to CCFLs, including greater power savings, thinner form factors and the elimination of toxic materials employed in CCFL manufacturing.

Worldwide shipments of LCD TVs with LED backlights rose to 604,000 units in the second quarter, up 75 percent from 345,000 in the first. Shipments of such sets are expected to rise by 170 percent in the third quarter and by another 20 percent in the fourth quarter.

For all of 2009, shipments of LCD-TVs with LED backlights are predicted to reach 4.5 million units, up by more than a factor of 10 from 438,000 in 2008. By 2013, shipments will rise to 98.8 million, accounting for 42.5 percent of the global LCD-TV market.

Sales Rise for Both High-End and Low-End LCD-TVs Global LCD-TVs shipments rose to 30.7 million units in the second quarter, up 14.1 percent from 26.9 million in the first.

"Consumers in the second quarter continued to buy more LCD TVs despite the economic downturn due to the introduction of more advanced models and because of price declines for older sets," Patel observed.

Consumers in developed economies who already have purchased flat-panel sets now are buying replacement or additional LCD-TVs that have enhanced features. In addition to LCD-TVs with LED backlights, these consumers are purchasing larger televisions and sets with faster refresh rates, i.e., 120Hz and 240Hz, which yield higher-quality pictures and superior presentation of fast motion.

Meanwhile, retail prices for older models declined in the second quarter, despite a glass shortage that has driven up pricing for some LCD panels. The price drops attracted first-time LCD-TV buyers, as well those with lower incomes and consumers in developing economies.

Global average selling price for all LCD-TVs remained flat in the second quarter compared to the first. However, pricing for the most popular size range for LCD-TVs, i.e. 30- to 34-inches, decreased by 4 percent sequentially in the second quarter.

"While panel prices may have risen, LCD-TV makers have taken some reductions on their margins to reduce pricing and maintain sales momentum," Patel said. "Furthermore, in some cases, retailers are willing to compromise on their mark-ups to ensure the ongoing uptake of these sets."

On a percentage basis, the fastest growth in the second quarter was achieved by LG Electronics, whose shipments rose by 20 percent to reach 3.5 million units, up from 2.9 million in the first quarter.

"LG?s strong growth was due to the company?s increased shipments to the emerging markets, where consumers are now looking at buying their first LCD TVs," Patel said.

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