When it comes to buying a new HDTV, it looks like Samsung is the tops — at least during the planning process. ABI Research Technology says that Samsung took the top spot in U.S. consumer HDTV purchase intent for the first half of 2012.
When asked what manufacturer potential HDTV buyers were most interested in, 20 percent of respondents said Samsung. Right on their heels was Sony, with 19 percent. It may seem like a close match, but previous title holders Sony had 27 percent in 2011.
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Both LG (12 percent) and Vizio (11 percent) also saw jumps over the last survey.
“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,” says senior analyst Michael Inouye. “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.”
ABI Research’s Technology Barometer: Connected Home and Computing Research Service also says that features such as web connectivity and 3D haven’t sparked the demand that manufacturers were counting on to generate deeper margins.
In fact, 3D seems the least important feature when asked about purchase intent, with 39 percent of respondents saying that they have no interest in a 3D-ready HDTV.
“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,” says 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.”