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Once the domain of bottom end and often unknown TV brands the 32-inch LCD-TV sector is now dominated by premium brands such as Samsung, Sony Sharp and Philips claim research group iSuppli.

Premium brands Samsung Electronics and Sony were the leading sellers of LCD-TVs in the 30- to 34-inch size range in the second quarter, with unit-shipment shares of 17.6 percent and 12.8 percent respectively. Just one year ago, in the second quarter of 2007, these two companies held shares of only 8.5 percent and 4.9 percent, giving them the fourth and tenth place rankings respectively in the 30- to 34-inch LCD-TV market.

As an example in the USA market value brand Vizio, which in the second quarter of 2007 was the dominant 32-inch LCD-TV maker with a 17.3 percent share of unit shipments, saw its portion of the market decline to 6 percent in the second quarter of 2008. “This area represents the most contested 32 inches of real estate in the LCD-TV business today,” said Riddhi Patel, principal analyst, television systems, for iSuppli.

“In terms of screen sizes, 32-inch is the single most popular type of LCD-TV. This is because the 32-inch dimension represents an ideal size for both primary and secondary uses in the home, equally suitable for the living room and the bedroom.

 

Furthermore, televisions at this size have attained commodity status, so their pricing is no longer subject to the aggressive moves seen in some other LCD-TV size ranges. Because of this, consumers are more confident in buying 32-inch sets with the awareness that pricing won’t drop dramatically immediately after they make their purchases.”

The 30- to 34-inch size range accounted for 34.1 percent of LCD-TV shipments in the second quarter, compared to 13.7 percent for the next most-popular size, 25- to 29-inches, according to iSuppli.

The next battleground is shaping up to be the 40- to 42-inch size category. Premium brands have a lead in this area, but are facing mounting challenges from their value-oriented.

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