Chinese brand TCL surged to the top of the North American TV market for the first time ever during the first quarter of 2019, as unit shipments boomed by 112 per cent year-over-year.
TCL’s share of North American TV shipments rose to 26.2 per cent during the first quarter of 2019, up from 16 per cent during the same period in 2018, as reported by the IHS Markit TV Sets Intelligence Service. This put TCL one position ahead of previous market leader Samsung, whose shipment share declined to 21.8 per cent, down from 28 per cent one year earlier. Vizio ranked third in the North American TV shipment ranking, with a 13.7 per cent share.
TCL’s strong performance contributed to a record quarter for the North American TV market, with shipments rising nearly 30 per cent year-on-year to reach a historic high of 9.3 million units.
Despite TCL’s rise, Samsung maintained a commanding lead in terms of revenue, accounting for a 36.9 per cent share, more than double the total of any other company. Samsung’s revenue leadership reflects its focus on TVs with larger sizes and higher price points.
“Amid rising concerns about tariffs arising from the US China trade dispute, TCL and other TV brands that rely heavily on China-based manufacturing have been increasing shipments dramatically,” said Paul Gagnon, research executive director at IHS Markit. “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.”