China once trailed Korea with a 10 percentage point market share difference in the TV market. Yet South Korea has recently widened the market share gap again to 25 percentage points on the strength of Korean TV makers’ advanced technology and premium strategy.
According to market researcher IHS Markit on May 30, Korea accounted for 46.5% of the world TV market in the first quarter of this year in terms of sales, enjoying comfortable leads over China (21.5%) and Japan (17.7%).
Two years ago, in the first quarter of 2016, Korea and China accounted for 41.8% and 31.2%, respectively, so the market share gap was only 10.6%p. However, the gap widened to 25 percentage points in the first quarter of this year.
By company, Samsung Electronics came in first with 28.6% and LG Electronics and Japan Sony recorded 17.9% and 9.1%, respectively. They were followed by China's TCL with 5.8% and Hisense with 5.3%. The market shares of the top three companies rose by 1%p to 3%p over the same period of last year, but the market shares of fourth-ranking China TCL and fifth-ranking Hisense declined.
Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics led the world TV market with 60-inch or bigger QLED and OLED premium TVs.
It is expected that even though Chinese TV makers are ramping up shipment volume a great deal via the big Chinese market, but most of their TVs are low-priced products, so the gap with leading companies will continue to widen in terms of sales and profitability.
In fact, Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics and Sony recorded a combined 74.1% share of the high-end TV market of 65-inch or larger models in the first quarter of this year. Also, in the premium TV market of US$ 2,500 or more expensive models, the top three companies accounted for a whopping 90.0%. In the market of TVs more than US$ 2500 per unit, Samsung Electronics chalked up an 11.0% share in the first quarter of last year while LG Electronics and Sony, 40.8% and 34.4%, respectively. But Samsung Electronics rebounded and claimed the top spot with a 43.3% share in the first quarter of this year.
"China ranks first in display shipments and is pouring more than 200 trillion won in semiconductors and distinguishing itself in smartphones and drones, threatening Korea in Korea’s major world-class industries,” a TV industry official said. “If Korea companies outclasses its competitors by securing advanced technology through research and development and competing with high-quality premium products like the TV industry case, Korea's manufacturing industry is still highly likely to succeed in the world market."