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LEAD: Sony grabs No. 1 share in global LCD TV shipments for 1st time+
[February 24, 2006]

LEAD: Sony grabs No. 1 share in global LCD TV shipments for 1st time+

(Japan Economic Newswire Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)TOKYO, Feb. 24_(Kyodo) _ (EDS: ADDING MORE INFO)

Sony Corp. grabbed the largest share of global shipments of liquid crystal display televisions, at 14.6 percent, for the first time during the October-December quarter, a U.S. market research firm for the flat panel display industry said Friday.

Sharp Corp., another Japanese electronics firm, had been in the top spot in the category since the April-June quarter in 2001, when the research firm started the survey, according to DisplaySearch.

Sharp placed in third with a 13.6 percent share during the quarter, following Netherlands-based Royal Philips Electronics N.V. with a 14.2 percent share of the market, DisplaySearch said.

Sharp, however, grabbed the largest share of domestic shipments of LCD TVs during the October-December quarter at 39.5 percent, followed by Sony's 20.5 percent and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. with 11.6 percent.

The research firm attributed Sony's increase in market share to the successful launch of its new BRAVIA series and optimized panel capacity through its LCD joint venture with South Korea's Samsung Electronics.

It also attributed Sony's growth to its strong focus on larger size panels with 56 percent of its output being 32-inch panels and larger, which are popular on the global market.

The firm attributed Sharp's drop in global market shares to supply constraints.

"A lack of capacity growth and insufficient external sourcing prevented it from keeping up with market demand," it said.

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