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January 09, 2009

LGE Eyes 50 Percent Jump in LCD TV Sales in 2009

The number three LCD TV market share holder reportedly is looking to sell about 18 million units this year – a whopping 50 percent jump, especially in this slower economy.

Eyeing a plan to boost its market share from 10.5 to 15 percent, LG Electronics is focusing on increasing its small-sized TV sales through the recession, Reuters (News - Alert) reporter Rhee So-eui writes.
In the plasma TV market, LG aims to sell 3 million to 3.5 million units this year, up from 2.8 million sold last year, Simon Kang, chief executive of LG’s home entertainment division, reportedly told the news service.
“At 3 million, LG will have 19 percent of the plasma TV market,” So-eui reports. “Combined, LG aims to achieve a 16 percent market share in flat-screen TVs this year, hoping to become the world’s No. 2 behind domestic rival Samsung (News - Alert) Electronics.”
LG says on its Web site that one of its most popular HDTV’s is a 50-inch Class Plasma model, shown at right.
With the deepening global downturn, sales growth of pricy flat-screen TVs are expected to slow in 2009, Reuters says.
“Research firm DisplaySearch forecast the LCD TV market in unit terms to grow 17 percent in 2009, slowing from a 29 percent increase in 2008,” So-eui reports.
Even so, the TV industry is headed toward technological breakthroughs.
Leaders made it clear this week at the International Consumer Electronics Show that they intend to capitalize on what researchers call a robust IPTV (News - Alert) market, especially in the Asia-Pacific region.
As TMCnet reported, Yahoo! Inc., a company that’s made more headlines in the past year for failing to be bought by Microsoft (News - Alert) than for innovation, has joined Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. in an effort to power flat-panel HDTVs with Yahoo’s so-called “Widget Engine,” a platform that helps watchers interact with their sets.
Also, according to the AFP – a news service that’s based in France – Sony, LG, Toshiba, Samsung and Vizio now are rolling out flat-panel TV models embedded with the widget software, offering links to popular Web sites.
According to Yahoo spokesman Lucas Mast, the company has built 20 widgets to link television viewers to Internet destinations such as YouTube, Twitter, eBay (News - Alert), MySpace, Amazon, CBS, and The New York Times. Mast told the AFP that he expects that number to grow to 50 by June.
“We’ve been cooking this up in the lab for three or four years,” Mast reportedly said.
Meanwhile, Kang reportedly said that LG would boost sales of smaller flat-screen sets targeting emerging market consumers who trade bulky cathode-ray tubes for LCD models and some developed market buyers for second TVs.
“Uncertainties are mounting and we have set several scenarios ranging from the worst, the most likely to the best,” Kang reportedly said. ”But the way the first quarter is shaping doesn’t look like it will be the worst.”

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Michael Dinan is a contributing editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To read more of Michael's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Michael Dinan

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