Last night the company hosted a launch event for its new ES9000 TV. The 75 inch LED set incorporates many of the features familiar to its ES8000 smart TV, including its coveted motion gesture technology and access to vast banks of content.
Present at the event was Samsung’s Director of AV, Phillip Newton, who claimed Samsung’s foray into the smart TV market has helped the company nab the Lion’s share.
“Since we launched the [smart TV] back in April, we’ve had amazing consumer feedback and also amazing consumer consumption. In the last couple of months, we’ve reached over 40% market share in the Smart TV market and over 40% market share in the 3D market. Almost double thatâ€”if not more than doubleâ€”that of our nearest competitor.”
Speaking to SmartHouse alone, Newton confirmed Samsung’s nearest competitor is LG.
Samsung and LG have been locked in a bitter legal feud following LG’s aggressive Cinema 3D marketing campaign, which alleged 4 out of 5 customers preferred their passive 3D over Samsung’s Active Shutter 3D.
Samsung is now looking to increase its market share by reaching out to customers after big screen TVs. By the admission of Samsung’s AV National Sales and Marketing Manager, Brad Wright, the company’s new ES9000 is the “largest panel [Samsung] has ever launched to the Australian consumer,” and it will undeniably impinge upon customers keen on Panasonic’s big screen offerings.
Panasonic’s 65 inch VT series was launched last year to considerable demand.
“[You] cannot get a Panasonic screen for love nor money in Australia at the moment,” advises premium AV specialist Len Wallis. “I would have sold 30-40 on order [if the stock was there], which for us is a lot as we’re not a screen company.”
Sharp is also picking off customers after ‘magnormous’ televisions with the launch of a 70 inch LCD TV in December of 2011, and announcing yesterday an 80 inch variant will be available by the end of August for $10,999. Having Seen Samsung’s ES9000 first hand, I can attest the quality is impressive, but to ensure it stays a step ahead of its competitors, Samsung has endowed it with a vast content library.
An application worthy of mention is their Foxtel app, which according to Newton, has motivated owners of a Samsung smart TV to jump online.
“Last month, July, was the first time we clicked 1 million [local] app clicksâ€¦In April, we were talking about half a million app clicks a month. The other major release last month was Foxtel.
“In a single month, we had more app clicks on Foxtel than there was on our web browser service. Over a hundred thousand clicks in a single month.
“It went from not on the radar to our number one app in a period of a month.”
A proud Newton announced channel 7’s catch up service, Yahoo 7, will be coming exclusively to Samsung smart TVs in the fourth quarter of 2012.
“So we’ll have almost all of the local free-to-air TV, catch up TV, resident on the hub as an application.”
Despite a weak first quarter, flat panel TV shipments rose by 3.6% in the second quarter of 2012, totalling 48.9 million units. Senior analyst Tom Morrod of IHS believes the steep decline of the first quarter was the result of post-Christmas spending, but since television shipment growth has normalised.
“After a weak start to 2012, global television shipments showed some signs of life in the second quarter,” noted Morrod.
“While television shipments typically decline in the first quarter following the peak Christmas selling season, the drop this year was sharp because of tentative consumer spending. The return to growth in the second quarter follows normal seasonal patterns for television shipment growth, and likely signals further growth ahead in the third quarter.”
Samsung dominated global LCD shipments “because of its marketing, global distribution and efficient production,” Morrod observed. “Both Samsung and LG are able to undercut their Japanese rivals on pricing, allowing them to retain their leadership.”
Despite Samsung’s solid performance in the TV market, principal analyst David Mercer of Strategy Analytics believes the company isn’t capitalising as well as it could from the success of their Galaxy smartphones. Mercer released a report titled “Samsung Customer Profile: Identifying Cross-marketing Opportunities” which surmised Samsung is missing out on opportunities to build brand loyalty across its key TV and phone segments.
“Samsung has clearly built excellent loyalty ratings with its existing phone customers,” notes Mercer. “But the company does not appear to be as good as it could be at promoting its mobile phones to its TV customers. This would be appear to be a relatively simple opportunity to build market share and resist the threat of the iPhone, which many Samsung TV owners are considering purchasing.”
Samsung’s ES9000 will be available in September with a recommended retail price of $9,499.