The first quarter of this year wasn't a good time to be in the business of selling anything, but iSuppli reports that price leader Vizio beat out its higher-quality competition with cheaper Walmart sets.
Seems that while critical darlings Samsung and Sony were hawking 40-inch sets average selling prices of $1,000 and $1090, respectively, Vizio was busy selling 42 inchers for an average of $850, and doing it through Walmart. They even offered a 120Hz premium set for an average selling price of $1000, where Sammy and Sony were at around $1400 for the same on-paper specs, at the smaller 40" size.
People who read both TV reviews and The Economist don't appear to have been in the mood to buy flatpanel TVs as the fate of our global economy was being hashed out, but people who just absolutely needed an LCD bought Vizio mostly. Its North American market share was 21.6%, but to be fair, LCD sales were down nearly a quarter from the holiday season.
As iSuppli's release puts it so bluntly: "Rather than stopping their purchases of LCD-TVs, consumers are focusing on lower-priced sets." [iSuppli]