Vizio's rise tightens LCD TV market

Posted by Mark Raby

El Segundo (CA) - Vizio, the only one of the top five TV manufacturers that is based in the US, has managed to rise near the top of the market, creating pressure on everyone else.

The latest numbers are in from market research firm iSuppli, and it shows an extremely close race between the top three LCD competitors.

According to iSuppli, there is less than one half of one percentage point difference between Samsung, Sony and Vizio.

Vizio came in third place, a position it has held before, but its margin against consumer electronics giants Samsung and Sony is closer than ever before.

The Irvine, California-based TV maker is known for its low prices, and with increased market share that has caused a price war with other companies.

"Following Vizio’s surprise rise to leadership in the North American LCD-TV market in the second and third quarters of 2007 due to its rock-bottom pricing, Samsung and Sony have struck back with their own cuts and new low-cost sets," said iSuppli analyst Riddhi Patel.

The research firm said that it is no longer just a game of pricing, though.  Most major HDTV manufacturers are incorporating new design and ergonomic features, including colored bezels, rounded edges and touch-responsive on-board controls.

The LCD TV market is expected to continue to grow in North America at a rate of 10% a year through 2012, said iSuppli.