Vizio takes back #1 spot in LCD TV sales

El Segundo (CA) – Vizio, which has built its LCD TV business on aggressively priced LCD TVs, is reaping the fruits of its efforts: According to iSuppli, the company has surpassed Samsung in terms of market share once again and has sold more LCD TVs in North America than any other LCD TV manufacturer during the first quarter of the year.

The market research firm said Vizio now held a market share of 21.9% in Q1 2009, up from 13.3% one year ago. The surge in market share, is according to iSuppli, by the current economic climate: While Vizio’s share declined to 8.7% in Q2 2008, it jumped when the economic situation deteriorated – to 10.1% in Q3 2008 and to 13.8% in Q4.

While this scenario appears to be contradicting the early 2009 claims of more expensive brands that consumers would focus on much more known brands and features – and eventually shell out more money for their next TV – iSuppli’s chart reveals that all top 5 brands gained market share year over year, at the expensive at smaller manufacturers. Samsung climbed from 13.7% to 19.9%, Sony from 13.5% to 16.6%, LG from 8.1% to 10.7% and Sharp from 8.7 to 9.4%. However, Samsung and Sony showed market share declines from Q4 2008 to Q1 2009.

The market share of smaller brands dropped from 42.7% in Q1 2008 to 21.9% in Q1 2009, iSuppli said.

“Due to its aggressive pricing, Vizio for some time has maintained its position as North America’s top-selling LCD-TV value brand,” said Riddhi Patel, principal analyst, television systems, for iSuppli. “However, since the onset of the economic downturn, Vizio’s share has risen dramatically. With budgets becoming increasingly tight, consumers are finding the company’s inexpensive sets more alluring.”

In the first quarter, Vizio’s lowest average selling price for a 42” Cold-Cathode Fluorescent (CCFL) backlit, 60Hz refresh rate, full High-Definition (HD) LCD-TV was $850. In comparison, Samsung and Sony 40” LCD-TVs with the same configurations carried ASPs of $1000 and $1090, respectively.

When comparing 120Hz models at the 40/42″ size, the price differential between Vizio and Samsung and Sony was $400, with the Vizio set priced at about $1000.