Defying hard economic times, the Russian LCD-TV market is set for strong growth this year, with shipments rising by 13.6 percent in 2009, according to iSuppli.

Shipments of LCD-TVs in Russia will rise to about 5 million units in 2009, up from 4.4 million in 2008. By 2013, shipments will nearly double from the 2009 level, increasing to 9.6 million units.

Revenue will increase to $5.7 billion by 2013, up from $3.1 billion in 2008.

The research shows LCD-TVs are the only segment of the Russian TV market that is expanding, with shipments of Plasma Display Panel-Televisions (PDP-TVs) and Cathode Ray Tube-Televisions (CRT-TVs) decreasing in 2009 and beyond.

“One of the main reasons for the switch to LCD-TVs in Russia is that they have become a status symbol. Consumers in Russia are very image conscious and prefer to own televisions that they can show off to neighbors and family members,” said Riddhi Patel, principal analyst for television systems for iSuppli.

While the 32-inch size dominates shipments as an ideal upgrade or first television, the larger-sized TVs are becoming trendier.

Among brands in Russia, South Korean OEMs are in a winning position because of their strong brand recognition. Furthermore, the South Korean OEMs also have domestic production capabilities and vertical integration—factors that allow them to have better control over their costs and prices.

According to Patel, as far domestic Russian brands go, they are suffering from a lack of financial strength as well as the absence of branding. However, with a strong marketing strategy and the capability to be price competitive, Russian brands could challenge global OEMs in the domestic market.

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