Sony Top Producer of TVs >$2,500
March 05, 2018
Sony claimed the top spot in TVs valued over $2,500, relegating LG and Samsung to second and third, according to data released by IHS Markit last week. Sony’s share grew from 24.6 percent in 2016 to 36.9 percent last year, while LG’s share dropped from 40.8% to 33.0% and Samsung’s from 23.4% to 18.5%. Considering Sony’s market share was at just 14.3 percent in 2015, the company has been on a fast track toward growth. In 2016, the company beat Samsung and last year surpassed LG, which is quite ironic since Sony’s leap is largely credited to its OLED lineup. The company started mass-producing OLED televisions last year and focused on the high-end only, solely making televisions over $2,500 to maximize profitability. The lean strategy seems to have worked. When narrowing down the market to televisions over $3,000, Sony had a 44 percent share last year, according to IHS Markit, edging LG Electronics at 30.9 percent.
LG is not worried about Sony’s expansion since both companies are interested in proliferating OLED televisions. Sony is also a business partner of LG, sourcing OLED panels from LG Display.
Samsung is quite concerned, since the early 2010s, the company shifted from OLEDs to QLEDs but the strategy hasn’t worked well for Samsung. Operating profit at the company’s consumer electronics division has been on the decline largely due to sluggish sales of televisions. Competition in the premium TV segment has been fierce not only because high-end TVs are more profitable but also because electronics makers participate with their best and latest technologies in the segment. LG’s goal this year is to solidify OLED as the mainstream standard in the premium TV segment. OLED panels are usually thinner and more flexible in design compared to other types of displays, including QLEDs. LG has been improving its production process to cut costs. LGE will also release a micro light-emitting diode television. Samsung will likely compete with a three-track strategy, promoting its QLED lineup along with very large micro light-emitting diode television, while trying to develop OLEDs using IJP or QD color filters.