Sharp slips down the LCD TV league

Replaced by high-flying Samsung

Sharp has been toppled from the top of the international LCD TV sales league. After leading the pack for some time, Sharp has suddenly fallen to fourth place with Samsung rising to take the crown.

This shake-up in LCD-TV market share can be accredited to the progress made by Sharp's competitors, and their ability to reduce prices amid fierce competition during the Christmas period.

Samsung assumed the top spot with a 16.8 per cent share of LCD TV sales in the fourth quarter of 2006, up from 13.5 per cent in the third quarter. Philips rose to second place with 15.1 per cent of the market while Sony came in third with a 13.1 per cent share of LCD TV shipments.

Sharp was fourth with 11.4 per cent of the market in the fourth quarter, down from 13.9 per cent in the third quarter.

"This is a significant blow to Sharp, which had been the dominant LCD TV seller going into 2006," said Riddhi Patel, principal analyst at iSuppli Corp . "While its market share had been declining, Sharp had managed to maintain a considerable distance from its competitors. However, this is no longer the case."

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