Watch out Sony, Samsung: Flat TV value brands gain

August 27, 2007, 12:42 PM UTC
Fortune

As flat TVs gain in popularity, consumers are less concerned with brand and more concerned with price, according to analysis from research firm iSuppli. That’s bad news for the likes of Sony (SNE), but good for upstarts like Vizio – which, according to iSuppli’s numbers, shipped the most LCD TVs in North America this spring.

Vizio shipped 606,402 LCD TVs in the spring, up 76.4 percent from 343,704 in the winter, according to iSuppli. The gains came largely because of new distribution deals the company struck with Wal-Mart (WMT) and Sears (SHLD) during the quarter.

“The company already was selling its LCD TVs through the warehouse stores Costco (COST), Sam’s Club and BJ’s Wholesale Club (BJ) — but the addition of the two new retailers gave Vizio’s sales a significant lift,” said Riddhi Patel, principal analyst for television systems at iSuppli. “Americans have grown comfortable with value brands, making Vizio’s low-cost sets an alluring alternative to the established names.”

The spring, of course, is a slower season, and what will really count is the holiday season numbers. That’s when, for example, Sony could see benefits from the TV distribution deal it has struck with Target (TGT).

Also of note: Panasonic (MC) held its share of shipments relatively steady at between 3 and 4 percent. The shipment numbers from iSuppli, below:

               

 

Company 1Q06 2Q06 3Q06 4Q06 1Q07 2Q07

 

Vizio 2.33% 4.71% 5.41% 6.96% 9.41% 14.46%

 

Samsung 6.27% 9.75% 11.51% 12.35% 12.21% 11.36%

 

Sharp 11.67% 11.55% 10.9% 10.51% 10.76% 10.28%

 

Philips 10.78% 10.94% 14.44% 17.16% 11.52% 8.25%

 

LG Electronics 4.72% 4.39% 5.88% 6.6% 6.52% 7.31%

 

Sony 9.85% 8.69% 6.98% 8.75% 11.29% 6.28%

 

Syntax – Brillian 4.22% 4.64% 3.24% 6.8% 4.95% 6.11%

 

Westinghouse 1.53% 4.34% 4.7% 7.73% 2.81% 5.47%

 

Panasonic (Matsushita) 1.22% 3.7% 3.08% 4.14% 3.39% 3.46%

 

Others 47.43% 37.28% 33.86% 18.99% 27.13% 27.02%