(Adds market-share target next year in second paragraph.)
Sept. 4 (Bloomberg) -- LG Electronics Inc., the world’s second-biggest maker of televisions, aims to raise its market share for 3-D TVs fivefold this year by pushing its technology for lightweight, battery-free glasses.
The company will probably reach 20 percent of the market for the devices by the end of 2011, up from 4 percent at the beginning of the year, said Lee Kwan Sup, head of marketing for LG’s home entertainment unit. Seoul-based LG aims to pass Samsung Electronics Co. and become the world’s top seller of 3-D televisions next year, it said in a statement today.
LG and competitors including Samsung and Toshiba Corp. are pushing 3-D to revive falling demand in major markets. TV shipments will decline through 2015 in Western Europe and Japan and stagnate in the U.S., market researcher IMS Research said. The market will total about 200 million TVs this year, with 3-D accounting for some 10 percent, from 1 percent last year, Lee estimated.
“If we make a strong push into this newly developing premium segment, we can set a trend and establish an image as an innovator,” Lee said in an interview at the IFA consumer electronics fair in Berlin. “This is a fortuitous cycle for us, and that’s why we’re really focusing on this 3-D technology.”
TVs capable of showing 3-D images normally command a 20 percent premium over regular sets, he said.
Sony Corp. on July 28 cut the sales forecast for its Bravia televisions by 19 percent to 22 million units worldwide this year. Royal Philips Electronics NV said in April it would divest its 80-year-old TV unit to a Hong Kong contract manufacturer.
While LG’s previously announced target of 40 million units for this year is “a stretch,” the company is set to increase market share to more than 15 percent from 12 percent, Lee said. LG lowered its TV-sales goal to 32 million units, Edaily reported Aug. 18, citing an unidentified company official.
LG is betting on “Cinema 3D TVs” incorporating Film Patterned Retarder technology and using glasses that it says are lighter, more comfortable and less eye-straining. Philips and Toshiba are among other makers adopting the technology, developed by LG Display Co., while Sony is considering it, Lee said.
LG aims to equip 70 percent of its TVs with 3-D features and develop glasses-free models, according to the statement. The company also said it plans to start next year selling large- screen TVs using so-called OLED, or organic light-emitting diode, technology.
A boost to TV revenue may help LG make up for its shrinking stature in mobile-phone sales, where global market share by unit fell to 5.7 percent in the second quarter from 8 percent a year earlier, according to researcher Gartner Inc.
--Editors: Jim McDonald, Paul Gordon
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