Sony, who were once a dominant force in the TV business is going backwards, with new GFK Australia data revealing the Company has slipped from being number one five years ago to now struggling to hold onto the number three slot up against Samsung and LG.The Japanese Company, who launched a $24,000 84 inch Ultra High Definition TV last month up against a similar TV from LG that sells for $9,000 less, still believes they are a premium TV brand despite consumers turning off the brand in favour of TVs from Samsung and LG.
Year to date, GFK data obtained by ChannelNews from a reliable GFK source reveals Sony has just 8.2 market share of the TV market vs. 51.4% for Samsung and 29.5% for LG.
In week 42, Sony was pushed into fourth spot by Panasonic who had 8.2% share vs. Sony’s 7.7% share.
In Australia, Sony is no longer seen by retailers as being a major TV brand, a Harvey Norman franchisee said “Consumers no longer walk in asking for a Sony TV. It is all about LG and Samsung.”
Three years ago Sony said they were set to dominate in the OLED TV market and the 3D TV market.
They are now out of the OLED market and struggling in the 3D TV market.
Last week when Sony announced a further slump in their TV business (which has never made a profit in eight years) Chief Executive Officer Kazuo Hirai claimed his ailing TV business can be revived with sufficient cash.
Analysts are not so sure claiming that Sony is fast running out of cash to fund their business.
During the past eight years Sony has lost $8.7 billion trying to compete in the TV market.
Recently they cut the number of Bravia models sold and ended a panel- making venture with Sharp. It was only 18 months ago that the Company walked away from a TV partnership with Samsung.
“Sony would be better off without the TV business,” said Tetsuro Ii, president of Commons Asset Management Inc. in Tokyo, which owns no Sony shares. Talking to BusinessWeek he said “We are hoping the company won’t end up becoming like GM,” and he will only buy its stock when Sony “shows the competitive advantage it used to have over global peers.”
Last week Sony admitted they will lose billions selling TVs this year. The company said they have cut their global sales target to 15.5 million units from 17.5 million.
Struggling to compete in several markets Sony has witnessed a 92 percent plunge in its market value during the past decade.
Bloomberg claims it will take another three years of losses, totalling 127 billion yen, before TVs become profitable again.
Hirai, who took over from Howard Stringer in April, has slashed the number of Bravia models in the U.S. to 22 from 40 to cut costs. Several models have also been cut out of the Australian line up.
ChannelNews has been told both Sony and Panasonic will announce new OLED TVs at the 2013 CES show along with Ultra High Definition models.
In June Sony and Panasonic announced a partnership to develop sets using organic light-emitting diode, or OLED, technology that can be as thin as 4 millimetres (0.16 inches) and produce images 200 times sharper than current LCD models.
“Sony has a very deep DNA in creating the best picture and the best sound,” Hirai said recently.