Samsung has maintained its place as the world’s biggest TV brand for the third year running.

With a 21.9 per cent market share, the South Korean electronics manufacturer is some way ahead of second placed Sony, according to DisplaySearch.

The findings are published in the researchers latest Quarterly Global TV Shipment and Forecast Report.

They also show that the 1080p share of global TV shipments exceeded 20 per cent of units for the first time in Q4 of 2008.

China remained the largest market for TVs on a unit basis, accounting for just over 19 per cent, followed by Western Europe and North America at just less than 19 per cent.

However, on a revenue basis, North America remains the world’s largest TV market despite strong quarter-on-quarter (Q/Q) revenue growth in Western Europe.

LCD TV picked up market share in every region, with especially strong share gains in China and Eastern Europe.

As the brand leader, Samsung remains clear at the top, holding its revenue share nearly unchanged at 21.9 per cent, more than 7 share points higher than second placed Sony.

Sony, however, enjoyed the strongest share growth and Q/Q revenue growth among the top five.

Samsung was also the overall unit shipment leader and was in the top three rankings in each technology category (except OLED) and led LCD TV shipments.

Sony enjoyed strong Q/Q revenue growth, but its year-on-year (Y/Y) revenues declined by 7 per cent due to ASP erosion. LGE rounded out the top three TV brands worldwide at 11.5 per cent revenue share.

It also maintained a very slight advantage over Samsung in the high growth emerging market segment.

The report also showed that despite the difficult economy and concerns about consumer spending, demand for larger screen sizes grew during Q4 2008.

The share of TVs shipped at 40"+ screen sizes reached an all-time high of 23 per cent, up from 19 per cent in Q3 2008 and 18 per cent in Q4 2007.

This was largely the result of significant discounts by manufacturers and retailers, both hoping to avoid excessive inventory after the holidays.

The volume weighted average price for 32"+ TVs fell 19 per cent Y/Y during Q4 2008, while under 32" was unchanged from a year ago.

Global TV shipments fell more than 5 per cent Y/Y in the last quarter of 2008 to 57.7M units from more than 60M units a year earlier.

This is the first Y/Y decline in total TV shipments for more than two years.

Due to ASP declines, total TV revenues fell even more, declining by 7 per cent to just over USD $30 billion despite flat panel technologies picking up more than 10 per cent unit share.

Combined flat panel TV revenues — which includes LCD, plasma and OLED technologies — posted the first annual decline in a given quarter, falling 3 per cent Y/Y despite 17 per cent growth in unit volume with falling prices affecting revenues.

Globally, flat panel TV share surged from 57 per cent in Q3 200808 to 66 per cent in Q4 2008 as rapidly falling LCD prices stimulated a shift from CRT to LCD, especially at smaller screen sizes under 40".

Annual LCD TV shipment results for 2008 as a whole were 105M units, up 33 per cent Y/Y.

DisplaySearch said the positive results also pushed LCD TV past CRT TV worldwide for the first time on an annual basis and mark significant progress in the transition from tube to flat panel technologies.

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