Samsung Electronics' share of the world TV market in terms of sales volume is estimated to have fallen below 20 percent in 2018 for the first time in seven years.
One reason for the decline in Samsung’s market share is its focus on the premium TV market away from the low-priced TV market led mainly by Chinese TV makers.
Consumer electronics industry sources and market research agency IHS Markit said on Jan. 20 that Samsung's TV market share hit 18.5 percent in the third quarter of last year. Considering that worldwide TV sales are maintained at around 200 million units each year and Samsung could hardly expect a steep increase in sales in the fourth quarter of last year, its TV market share is highly likely to have fallen below 20 percent, the first time in seven years since 2011.
Samsung's TV market share has declined year by year. In 2014, it accounted for 22.6 percent of the global market, but the figure fell to 21.6 percent in 2016, 20 percent in 2017 and 19.1 percent in the first half of last year. So did its sales volume. Samsung Electronics sold a total of 52,944 units in 2014, but only 43,092 units in 2017 and 28,435 units in the first three quarters of last year.
One major reason for the company’s falling market share is the rise of Chinese companies such as TCL and Hisense, which have been expanding their shares in the market of low-priced TVs by making the most of their price competitiveness. In fact, Samsung's TV sales volume slid 18.6 percent from 2014 to 2017, while that of TCL swelled 25.1 percent to 15,244 units from 12,190 in the same period.
Samsung has shifted its focus to the premium market as the market for high-definition TVs such as QLED TVs continue to grow despite the stagnation of the overall TV market. In terms of sales figures, Samsung's global market share in terms of sales reached 28.9 percent in the third quarter of last year, according to HIS Markit. It is very different from its global market share in terms of sales volume.
Industry analysts are speculating about Samsung’s future strategy. “Among TV producers, Samsung has the widest array of TV models from low- to high-price models," said an official of a home electronics company. “But it may have to give up low-priced models due to the strong offensive of Chinese companies with stronger price competitiveness."
A researcher at a securities firm said, "There is a possibility that Samsung will seek to manage its TV market share in consideration of the symbolic importance that TVs have in the consumer electronics market."