Stopping the Slide
iSuppli estimated Sony’s North American LCD TV unit market share in Q3 of 2009 was 8.3 percent, less than half of its peak of 17.5 percent in Q4 2008, and ranked it third behind Samsung and Vizio. For that same quarter, DisplaySearch, which counts Funai’s Sylvania, Emerson and Symphonic brands collectively, estimates Sony captured a 7.4 percent North American LCD TV unit market share and 13 percent of the dollars. DisplaySearch ranks Sony fourth in units share for the quarter, after Samsung, the Funai brand group and Vizio.
Why the loss in Sony LCD TV share? Riddhi Patel, principal analyst at iSuppli covering OEM and retail television markets, said Samsung and Vizio both captured consumer attention with their marketing and promotions. Samsung’s lineup was compatible to value brands, but the company “always promoted the high-end, making sure with its messages that consumers thought they were getting the latest and greatest technology,” Patel said. Meanwhile, Vizio stepped up from simply offering the lowest price to offering new technology at a value price.
On the other hand, Sony’s marketing and promotions in 2009 gave a “very mixed message,” Patel said. “You don’t hear them talk about technology. Neither do you hear them talk about the best pricing in town.”