When it comes to household names in cutting edge
televisions, the first that come to mind are Sony, Philips, Sharp, and in
recent years, Samsung. But all those companies have recently been elbowed aside
by a relatively unknown newcomer.
According to a recent report by iSuppli, Vizio in the second
quarter shipped 606,402 LCD-TVs in North America, up a stunning 76.4 percent
increase from 343,704 in the first quarter. The sales surge caused Vizio to jump
from the fifth-placed North American brand in the first quarter to top in the
In comparison, Japanese electronics giant Sony slipped from
third place to sixth place, with the company’s shipments declining to 263,377
units in the second quarter, down 36.1 percent from 412,323 in the first
quarter. Sharp, on the other hand, gained a position to hit third, though
iSuppli believes that is due to an increased availability of Sharp’s
ISuppli analysts believe that Vizio’s mass-market retail
approach is what gave it the edge over the electronics veterans.
“Vizio’s success is mainly due to the company expanding its
retail presence to Wal-Mart and Sears at the beginning of the second quarter,”
said Riddhi Patel, principal analyst, television systems for iSuppli. “The
company already was selling its LCD TVs through the warehouse stores Costco,
Sam’s Club and BJ's Wholesale Club—but the addition of the two new retailers
gave Vizio’s sales a significant lift.”
On the whole, the entire LCD TV market experienced growth
throughout the year. LCD TV shipments increased to 4.2 million units in the
second quarter, up 14.9 percent from 3.7 million units in the first. Vizio
leads LCD TV sales in sets that are 47-inch and smaller – with the 32-inch
model being the most popular size in North America.
When LCD technology first launched in the TV market, North
American consumers gravitated towards the trusted brands of established
electronics makers. As the technology becomes more familiar to consumers,
iSuppli believes that consumer attitudes shift to become more price sensitive.
“Americans have grown comfortable with value brands, making
Vizio’s low-cost sets an alluring alternative to the established names,” Patel