Samsung  loses out on LCD top market share crown -

The battle for the top spot in the American LCD-TV market is hearing up according to market research firm iSuppli.

The company said that the competition heated up in the second quarter as the gap in market share between current leader Samsung Electronics and second place Vizio closed, leaving just one percent between the two.  

In the second quarter Samsung held a 0.7 percentage point lead over Vizio in the U.S. LCD-TV shipment war, compared to 1.3 points in the first quarter. It said both companies in the second quarter dramatically outperformed the overall market by offering sets with advanced features desired by US consumers.

US LCD-TV shipments rose by 12.8 percent in the second quarter to 7.36 million units, up from 6.53 million in the first quarter, according to the company.

Samsung’s shipments grew at more than twice the pace of the overall market, rising by 26 percent to 1.45 million units, up from 1.15 million in the first quarter. However, Vizio grew even faster, with its shipments rising by an "industry-leading" 30.8 percent to 1.39 million units, up from 1.07 million in the first quarter.

iSuppli said that in the past the the two companies had taken two different strategies in a bid to gain the LCD TV market lead. Samsung focused on premium products while Vizio pushed low-cost value-oriented LCD-TVs.

iSuppli said that as U.S. consumer preferences have shifted to higher-end LCD TVs, Vizio has realigned its product line to offer more advanced features.

Riddhi Patel, a researcher at iSuppli said: “Most LCD-TVs purchased in the United States in 2010 are replacements of first-generation flat panels.

“Because of this, US consumers are more informed and demand larger LCD-TVs with better picture quality and more premium features, including 3-D, LED backlighting and built-in Internet connectivity. While Samsung continues to lead these technological trends, including the nascent 3-D TV segment, Vizio has significantly closed the feature gap.”