Samsung sells most LCD TVs in 2006, but Sony leads in value

By Matthew Henry

SYDNEY: Samsung Australia has claimed the number one position in unit sales for the Australian LCD TV market in 2006, but Sony Australia was market leader in sales value for the year.

Last year saw a growing rivalry between the two companies in the vital LCD category, even though Sony and Samsung are partners in the Korean S-LCD panel manufacturing joint-venture.

Samsung Electronics Australia marketing manager – AV, Michael Apte, attributed Samsung’s success in selling the most units to a strong reception for its R7 series of LCD TVs, which were featured in a national advertising campaign.

“It was a combination of product and promotion,” Apte told Current.com.au today.

“The R7 series was not just number one here for the year, but it has been a hit worldwide and was number one in a lot of overseas markets. So the position we have here has been consistently held worldwide.”

Samsung moved up from the number two position it attained in 2005, when it was second to LG Electronics.

Industry data obtained by Current.com.au shows Samsung accounted for around 16 per cent of unit sales in the LCD TV category in 2006, compared with Sony’s 13 per cent for its Bravia range.

However, according to GfK MAT data for the 12 months to December, Sony accounted for 21 per cent value share in the LCD TV category in 2006 compared with Samsung’s 18 per cent.

Sony Australia product manager – display, Graham Keogh, told Current.com.au this is a significant achievement considering the company launched its new Bravia range late in the year.

According to Sony, the latest weekly sales figures for the third week of January showed Bravia’s lead had grown to 29.4 per cent of value in the category, while Samsung had 19.9 per cent.

“It is all about dollars at the end of the day, there is really no point selling a million units if you make a cent off each one. We are still neck and neck in terms of units, but we are miles ahead in terms of value,” said Keogh.

Samsung has previously held the number one position in the DLP rear projection television category, but this is the first time the company has been the leading LCD TV supplier in Australia.

For Samsung, 2007 will be a year of consolidation as the company endeavours to retain its number one position and build on its successful range.

Apte said Samsung will release details of new developments in its LCD TV range within weeks, and said the brand will continue with its current strategy of combining good features, a built-in HD tuner and elegant design.

“In recent research we did we found the percentage of consumers who had purchased a Samsung LCD for its design had increased to 29 per cent, and this design element is something we will be increasingly using in 2007. The theme for this year is really about combining design and high technology,” Apte said.

Samsung shipped 21 million TVs worldwide in 2006 and invested $7 billion in research and development.

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