Samsung is the undisputed leader in global TV sales and has been the leader since 2006. Panasonic and Philips are no longer in top-5, but two Chinese TV makers are. Global TV sales are no longer growing.
Global TV sales visualized
8 years is an eternity in the electronics business, but Samsung has been the leader for all these years, never missing a beat. DisplaySearch has released quarterly data since 2006, and here FlatpanelsHD takes a historical look at the TV business.
Back in 2007, far more cathode ray – or picture tube - TVs were sold than flat panel TVs, and rear-projection TVs were still a thing. Since then, LCD TV sales have exploded and plasma TV sales slowly increased in the first few years. Today, plasma sales are down to 2007 levels and picture tube TVs are almost dead. OLED is still a rounding error.
Samsung is leading - the Chinese are coming
Looking at TV market shares for the top-5 TV makers, Korean and Japanese TV makers have ruled for the past 8 years. In 2006, Dutch Philips was still in the top-5, but has never returned. The Japanese TV makers are also being pushed out of the top-5 by Chinese TV makers. LG has surpassed Sony and has sworn to take on Samsung next.
From the market share data it is also clear that “others”, TV makers outside top-5 have a smaller market to fight for compared to 2006. TV innovation is controlled by the companies with the largest LCD panel production, namely Samsung and LG.Display, as they tend to favor their own products for the first generation of a new TV technology. But can software and “Smart TV” change that fact?
Fortunes often shift hands in transition periods. We are entering several with the move to 4K resolution, a new display panel technology in OLED, and a shift to internet-based TV distribution (as opposed to tuner-based TV distribution).
The South Korean TV makers appear to be well-positioned to ride the next waves, but the Chinese TV makers are enjoying incredible growth because of the booming local TV market. However, the question remains; can they expand to the global markets before the Chinese TV market becomes saturated?
Will new players rise to fame when TV distribution moves to the internet?