Samsung strengthens DTV position in the US

MUMBAI: Electronics major Samsung captured the number one market share position for digital televisions in the US in 2006, according to The NPD Group's retail tracking service.

NPD VP industry analysis Stephen Baker says, "The industry's overall DTV unit sales have grown 54 per cent and three million more digital TVs were sold in 2006 than 2005; and within 2006, Samsung sold more digital televisions than anyone else in the industry.

"Samsung is the only television manufacturer that demonstrates market strength in all four digital TV categories, which includes LCD, plasma, Microdisplay and Flat Tube. According to NPD's monthly sales data Samsung's share position improved throughout the year with Samsung leading the market in units and dollars within the second half of the year."

Samsung became America's choice for digital TVs in 2006 with total Digital TV unit share of 20 per cent, which is a significant lead on the competition. In addition, Samsung demonstrated strong category leadership in Flat Panel TVs with number one unit share of 21.5 percent and number one dollar share of 25.1 percent; Samsung grew its LCD market share (10" and larger) to the number one position in 2006 (from the number four position in 2005) with a market share of 15.1 per cent; and its SlimFit™ line of flat tube CRT TVs claimed an overwhelming 46.1 percent unit share and a 43.7 per cent dollar share in 2006, according to NPD data.

Samsungsays that it is the only manufacturer that produces, and is committed to leading, in all four major digital television technologies: LCD, Microdisplay, Plasma, and Flat Tube. Strong 2006 sales across each category catapulted Samsung to the number one position.

Samsung Electronics America executive VP, consumer electronics division Tim Baxter says, "Achieving a number one market position is a significant milestone for Samsung and we are very proud that for the first time, the American public has made us their first choice for digital televisions.

"Samsung has demonstrated its growth to demand-brand status within the highly competitive Digital TV landscape. We attribute our success to a combination of manufacturing strength, commitment to all four digital television technologies and our leading product designs."

In 2006, Samsung launched its 51/52 series of LCD HDTVs, which the company nicknamed Bordeaux for its wine-glass curve at the bottom of the sets. For the first time, Samsung's TVs offered consumers a choice of luxurious lacquer-like piano-black or smooth white-pearl exterior that not only complemented consumers' home design but enhanced it as well.

People the firm says no longer had to hide their TVs inside bulky, space-consuming furniture; Samsung provided them with design choices that accented their home décor.

Samsung adds that it is one of the largest panel manufacturers in the world. In fact, the company consistently increases its R&D investments each year. In 2005 alone, Samsung's R&D investments reached 5.41 trillion KRW. Recently, Samsung SDI (one of Samsung's group affiliates) expanded the capacity of its plasma development facility in Cheonan, Korea.

Samsung Electronics is currently planning to open a Gen8 LCD manufacturing facility in TangJeong, Korea. Because the company designs and manufactures most of its own components, it can maintain the utmost control over production quality and manufacturing costs, giving the company a distinct market advantage.

About five years ago, Samsung decided to focus its TV resources almost exclusively on its digital television product line. The company recognized that each of the four digital TV technologies brought different advantages - and price points - to consumers and it decided to invest in each of them.

The firm says that due to its manufacturing strength it is able to bring price-competitive televisions to market while maintaining our profitability. So its early decisions and investments are paying off.

Samsung attributed its success to a combination of manufacturing strength, commitment to all four digital television technologies and product designs

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