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Samsung is still king of (smart) TV sales, but Vizio eyes the throne from second place

During the last quarter of 2013, Samsung and Vizio were far and away the leaders in market share for smart televisions, as well as for flat panel TVs in general. Samsung’s number-one position isn’t entirely earthshaking, but Irvine, CA-based Vizio has clambered out of the dreaded “tier two” pit and established a steel grip on the TV market — and that alone is impressive.

According to data from Strategy Analytics’ recently released “United States Smart TV Vendor Market Share: Q4 2013,” the majority of smart TV shipments in the U.S. during the 2013 fourth quarter were fulfilled by Samsung and Vizio.

One of the report’s primary insights is the fact that most major TV producers prioritized smart features to stand out in the now-flooded, shoulder-to-shoulder flat panel market.

Here are some more specific highlights from the report:

  • Samsung clearly nabbed the largest chunk of smart TV sales with a 29.6-percent market share.
  • Leaping almost 2 percent from 2012’s fourth quarter, Vizio gave Samsung a run for its money with 24.4-percent market share.
  • Sony’s market share dropped more than 3 percent year-on-year, securing third place with a fairly substantial 17.6 percent (compared with Sony’s meager 8-percent share of the flat panel umbrella category).
  • LG claimed the fourth slot with a 5.1-percent year-on-year increase for a 13-percent share.
  • In the fifth spot is Panasonic with nearly 7 percent of the market share, a 1-percent drop.

Vizio rocked our socks at CES with the unveiling of its beastly Reference Series 120-inch Ultra HD TV — a move that, along with its increasingly robust position in the TV market, could make Vizio a contender for the Samsung-occupied throne. This scuffle should just get scrappier and scrappier as the screens get thinner and wider and high-end TVs become more affordable for the average household.

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