Fri, Nov 10, 2006 - Page 12 News List

Sony set to launch new Bravia LCD televisions

By Lisa Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Sony Corp, the world's second-largest television vendor, yesterday said it plans to launch its new Bravia series televisions in Taiwan to safeguard its leading position in the nation's liquid-crystal-display (LCD) TV market amid growing demand for larger-sized TV sets.

Sony's sub-brand Bravia has helped the company boost its local market share to 24 percent after its debut in the fall of last year, well ahead of the second-largest vendor Kolin Inc's (歌林) 8.6 percent share.

"Maintaining our leadership is certainly one of our targets for next year," said Hiroyuki Oda, a division president of Sony's local branch.

Sony plans to unveil Bravia's flagship X-series TVs -- which are high-definition TVs with 40-inch or 46-inch screens -- next Thursday to cater to growing demand for wide-screen TVs.

The market share of LCD TVs with 40-inch or 42-inch screens would rise to 23 percent of 123 million units sold around the globe in 2010, compared with less than 10 percent currently, according to market research company DisplaySearch.

In Taiwan, sales of LCD TVs as a whole would jump by at least 22 percent at an annual pace to 550,000 units next year, compared with 450,000 units for this year, according to Sony's forecast.

Overall, global sales of LCD TVs would grow by 40 percent next year, riding on the rising trend of substituting traditional cathode-ray-tube (CRT) TVs with LCDs, said Satoshi Okawa, a Sony executive, in a press briefing in Taipei yesterday.

Sony's TV business would grow along with the overall market's expansion, Okawa said. Sony expects to sell 6 million Bravia TVs this year, he said.

Plans to deliver TV programs through digital signals around the world would also give a boost to LCD TV sales, Okawa said.

Matching Okawa's outlook, DisplaySearch said the TV market is migrating to HDTVs due to cheaper prices.

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