South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. is quickly catching up on Sony Corp. in the Ultra HD TV sector, expanding its foothold in one of the Japanese firm's most successful business areas, data showed Wednesday.
The world's No. 1 maker of TVs held 14.9 percent of the global UHD TV market in the fourth quarter of 2013, narrowing its gap with Sony which commanded 18.2 percent, according to market researcher DisplaySearch.
Following the rise of South Korean and Chinese tech giants, the once unchallenged Japanese electronics leader has been losing its dominance in the industry, relying largely on the UHD TV market to maintain its presence.
China's Skyworth Group Co. ranked third with 13.9 percent over the cited period, followed by Chang Hong with 11.4 percent and Hisense with 10.5 percent.
Samsung's smaller local rival LG Electronics Co. posted 6.9 percent, and Japan's Sharp and Panasonic held 2.9 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively.
The latest figures mark a drastic change from the second quarter of last year, when Sony accounted for 42.4 percent of the global market, followed by China's Skyworth and Chang Hong with 10.8 percent and 9.9 percent, respectively. Samsung, a latecomer to the UHD TV industry, had only 3.8 percent.
Samsung, the world's top maker of flat TVs since 2006, made the leap in the third quarter of 2013 by rolling out 55 and 65-inch UHD TVs in Europe, sharply expanding its foothold to 11 percent.
Samsung's market share in the European UHD TV market came to 40 percent in the fourth quarter, ahead of Sony's 30.3 percent, for the firm to become the leading player in the region in just a few months. The South Korean firm also took up 34.4 percent of the North American market, narrowing its gap with Sony with 46.3 percent.
Last week, Samsung also launched the world's first curved UHD TV, which allows panorama view and split screen. (Yonhap)