TCL take top spot in North American TV shipments

TV companies trade positions

by Andy Bassett Jun 4, 2019 at 12:51 PM

  • TV News


    TCL take top spot in North American TV shipments
    With US trade sanctions against imports from China yet to bite, TCL have ousted Samsung from the top spot in North American TV shipments.
    Global information analyst IHS Markit has released figures which show China’s TCL moving into the number one spot for TV shipments to the North American continent during the first quarter of 2019. For the purposes of market research, shipment figures are often used as a barometer for sales numbers.

    TCL’s share of the North American market represented a rise from a 16 percent share in the same quarter of 2018 to 26.2 percent, which pushed Samsung into second place as they dropped from a 28 percent share of the market to 21.8 percent over the same period.

    Although taken in isolation, the figures are mere snapshots which require further figures for additional quarters in order to determine meaningful trends, the performance will be a boost for TCL as they strongly contributed to a quarter which saw a record number of overall shipments hitting an historic high of 9.3 million units in total.

    Coming in at third place is US TV maker, Vizio which accounted for 13.7 percent of TV shipments.

    The rise in shipments over Q1 2019 was driven by sets with smaller than 55-inch screens, and falling prices pushed the average price per inch of an LCD-TV to below $10. This surge in shipments for North America helped bolster worldwide shipment numbers which had seen a decrease of 1.6 percent in the 4th quarter of 2018, and helped record growth of 2.1 percent compared to Q1 2018.

    Research executive director at IHS Markit, Paul Gagon commented that the trade turbulence between the US and China may have boosted immediate shipments, enabling TCL TV sets to avoid the impending tariffs on imported goods from China, tariffs that no doubt would have been passed on to the consumer.

    Amid rising concerns about tariffs arising from the U.S. China trade dispute, TCL and other TV brands that rely heavily on China-based manufacturing have been increasing shipments dramatically.”

    Gagon went on to say, “As uncertainty mounts around a possible tariff-driven rise in costs, these brands have been bolstering shipments to protect against any potential disruption. Given that margins for TVs are relatively low compared to other consumer-electronics categories, any tariff increase would have a major impact on sales.”

    Unless the seemingly escalating US-China trade war can be resolved, the coming quarters could see some sales fall-out as companies ride the bumpy trading conditions.

    While Samsung may be smarting from their demotion, it’s not all gloom for the South Korean electronics giant though, they still pulled in double the revenue of any other TV manufacturer, accounting for a 36.9 percent share of the market, due mainly to their focus on larger screen sizes sold at higher price points.

    TCL’s success will help position them for greater brand recognition as they continue to develop their TV ranges, including an 8K model and their MiniLED TV which they showcased at CES 2019, in addition to their reported hybrid Quantum Dot OLED technology which could threaten established panel technologies.

    Source:, IHS Markit
    Image Source: IHS Markit

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