US HDTV buyers buy into Samsung as 3D fails to inspire - again

Joseph O'Halloran ©RapidTVNews | 07-04-2012

Market intelligence from ABI Research has revealed that Samsung has bumped Sony in US consumer HDTV purchase intent for the first half of 2012.
the Japanese giant had once a commanding lead in the HDTV buying stakes but has fallen past its Korean arch rival and has had its lead eroded further by LG and Vizio.
ABI Research’s Technology Barometer : Connected Home and Computing surveys, “WAVE 3 US CE Purchase Intent” showed that of the 25% of respondents who claimed interest in purchasing a HDTV in the first half of 2012, 20% cited Samsung, followed by 19% for Sony (previously 27%). LG generated the largest increase, jumping from 6% of respondents to 12%, with Vizio claiming 11% (up from 8%).

“Regardless how long-lasting this shift in consumer interest may be, Sony continues to face a difficult challenge with its TV business, as do many TV manufacturers,” senior analyst Michael Inouye proposed. “Consumers continue to place screen size, display technology, and above all, price, as the most vital features for future TV purchases – all of which conspire to make differentiation in the TV market increasingly difficult.”
The survey also showed that despite a perceived huge interest, new features like Internet connectivity, and 3D in particular, have not yet yielded the spark in demand TV manufacturers were counting on to help generate deeper margins. Putting it bluntly, ABI regards 3D as the least important feature cited by consumers when asked about TV purchase intent. Indeed 42% of respondents claimed to have no interest in a 3D-ready TV.
“Samsung has perhaps found the right balance between pricing, features, and form factor as the company continues to outpace the competition in the flat panel TV market,” added Inouye. “While 3D and Internet connectivity have not generated the boost to the bottom line as some had hoped, the latter at least remains an essential ingredient to best address the changing consumer landscape for CE.”