The latest release of ABI Research’s “Connected Home Devices Market Data” shows that for the category of flat-panel TVs (including LCD, LED and plasma) Samsung held the largest market share of almost 20 percent in the first three quarters of 2010. LG posted the second-highest share, roughly five percentage points less than Samsung’s.

According to ABI analyst Michael Inouye, “Flat-panel television unit shipments were up overall; plasma did remarkably well and LED growth continued, but consumers continued to be relatively sensitive to price despite new features such as Internet connectivity and 3D.”
 
The story for game consoles and portable game player shipments was quite different, however: 2010 shipments for both categories declined from 2009 (roughly -3 percent for consoles and -30 percent for portable game players). Both major portable game players – Nintendo’s DS and Sony’s PSP – saw significant quarter-to-quarter fluctuations.

That doesn’t mean that consumers are suddenly tired of gaming. ABI practice director Jason Blackwell said, “There was likely some impact from mobile gaming, but right now a big part of these declining numbers can be attributed to consumers waiting for the next generation of equipment.”

Nintendo’s 3DS is already on the market in Japan, and is coming out this month in Europe and North America. Sony has announced that its NGP (Next Generation Portable) will be available later in 2011.

Some declines in game consoles can also be attributed to the maturity of current products. Nintendo has sold almost 85 million Wiis (through 2010); further, the Wii is under increasing price pressure from its competitors, who also launched motion-controlled peripherals; nor does it support HD or contain a Blu-ray player as the PS3 does. Wii shipments nonetheless easily outstripped those of its rivals.

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