Wed, Aug 22, 2007 - Page 12 News List

Samsung unveils new LCD television lineup


Models showcase a new 32-inch LCD TV by Samsung in Taipei yesterday.


With a new lineup of models in the pipeline, Samsung Electronics Taiwan Co expects sales of liquid-crystal-display (LCD) televisions in Taiwan to triple this year, a company executive said yesterday.

The company has set a sales target of 15,000 units this year, up sharply from last year's 4,000 to 5,000 units, said Austin Wei (魏家文), an assistant manager at Samsung Taiwan.

"We had limited product offerings last year. This caused us to lose market share to other brands," he told reporters on the sidelines of a product launch yesterday.

But that is set to change as the South Korean firm prepares to launch two new models -- the 32-inch and 40-inch second-generation Bordeaux Plus series -- in the next two months.

With price tags starting from NT$39,900 (US$1,209) to NT$59,900, the new TV sets are an improvement from earlier models, incorporating a tuner and set-top box, Wei said.

The company expects LCD TV replacement demand to grow even faster next year, with the government releasing digital broadcast signals and sports fans eager to watch the Beijing Olympic Games on high-definition TVs boosting sales, Wei said.

Samsung's target sales of 15,000 would account for only a small portion of total domestic sales, which are forecast to hit 700,000 units this year, the company said.

Statistics by market researcher International Data Corp Taiwan showed that Chi Mei Group (奇美集團), Tatung Co (大同), Panasonic and Taiwan Kolin Co (歌林) were the top four LCD TV brands in the first quarter.

A total of 171,626 LCD TVs were sold in the first quarter, up 27.5 percent over the previous quarter and 73.2 percent from the same period last year.

While foreign brands are fighting for a slice of the rapidly expanding local market, a homegrown firm is reaching out to make a name for itself overseas.

Vizio -- a brand from Amtran Technology Co (瑞軒科技) -- shipped 606,402 LCD TVs to North America in the second quarter, up an impressive 76.4 percent from 343,704 in the first quarter, market researcher iSuppli Corp said on Monday.

This gave Vizio a unit market share of 14.5 percent in North America, up from 9.4 percent in the earlier three months, it said.

The sales surge also pushed Vizio from fifth position to first -- ahead of Samsung, Philips, Sharp and Sony.

"A combination of low-priced products and high-powered sales channels including Wal-Mart and Costco have added to Vizio's success," iSuppli said.

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