Samsung and Sony have both relinquished their position as first and second in sales of LCD TVs for the first quarter of 2009 in the US. Relative newcomer to the industry Vizio, has upset both premium manufacturers and demonstrated a real consumer shift to budget brands.

According to the ‘Quarterly Global TV Shipment and Forecast Report’ issued by market analyst DisplaySearch, overall LCD TV shipments surged 23 per cent year-on-year to 7.2 million units for the period, after the fourth quarter 2008 saw an overall decline.

But the aspect of the report which gained the most attention that Vizio Inc, a California based company who manufacture low-cost flat panels, outperformed its fiercest rivals Sony and Samsung to claim the number one ranking for the quarter, and increase its unit share from 13 per cent to 19 per cent.

“Vizio is a relatively young TV brand in the US marketplace, but their strong alignment with mass merchant and warehouse club retailers seemed to put them in the right place at the right time with growing channels,” said Paul Gagnon, DisplaySearch director of North America TV research.

Samsung fell to number two in the LCD market after four straight quarters of leadership, and its unit share fell from 19.2 per cent to 17.4 per cent. But overall still performed strongly with a 61 per cent year-on-year shipment increase.

The top three in terms of LCD unit share and growth now sits with Vizio in number one, Samsung number two and Sony number three.

The plasma category see’s Panasonic continue its strong dominance with a 38.7 per cent unit share, followed by Samsung and LG Electronics.

The combined flat panel category demonstrated that Samsung has held on to the top spot, while Vizio jumped to second and Sony claimed third position.