Vizio top LCD seller in U.S., but Samsung top overall HDTV maker

The winners in the 2009 HDTV wars were value-priced Vizio and stylish stalwart Samsung, according to research firm iSuppli. Vizio was the biggest shipper of LCD televisions last year, nearly doubling its units shipped from 2008, while Samsung took the top spot for overall HDTV shipments, thanks to both its LCD and plasma sets.

The winners in the 2009 HDTV wars were value-priced Vizio and stylish stalwart Samsung, according to research firm iSuppli. Vizio was the biggest shipper of LCD televisions last year, nearly doubling its units shipped from 2008, while Samsung took the top spot for overall HDTV shipments, thanks to both its LCD and plasma sets. Despite being the champ in 2008, Samsung still managed to increase shipments by more 22 percent last year.

Perhaps the biggest surprise in iSuppli's findings was that Toshiba is making a major move up the sales charts. The company was tied for fourth with LG in LCD sales and also moved into the top six overall HDTV shippers, which iSuppli says is due to Toshiba's aggressive pricing strategy. That's also the theory behind Sony's strong fourth-quarter sales, though the electronics giant's market share declined for the whole year in both LCDs and the overall HDTV competition.

The biggest loser on the LCD side was Sharp, which saw a 29.1-percent decline in its share of the 2009 pie, including a 13.9-percent loss in share in the final quarter of the year. In 2008, Sharp had a sizeable 9.2 percent of the LCD market, but slipped to just a 5-percent market share last year. Perhaps it needs to take a page from Toshiba and Sony's playbooks and start dropping its prices—sharply.

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