Bravia High-Def Television Helps Sony Regain Foothold

Sony (SNE) is finally recovering in its core consumer electronics business.

Just a year ago, the Japanese tech giant faced a massive recall of 9.6 million lithium-ion laptop batteries. Its PlayStation 3 video game console business has been losing money, while rival Nintendo's Wii console has sold out at many stores and captured a new nongamer audience, such as senior citizens.

But analysts say the tide is turning this Christmas season. Sony's Bravia, a high-definition TV with liquid crystal display, is increasing its U.S. market share, says Masahiro Ono, an analyst at Morgan Stanley.

Sony ranked No. 2 after Samsung in LCD TV global market share by sales in November, according to Display Search. Sony doesn't disclose holiday-season sales figures, but Ono predicts it will soon surpass rival Samsung to claim the No. 1 spot.

Aggressive discounting seems to be paying off. Best Buy (BBY) cut the price of the popular 40-inch Bravia by 10% to $2,249 between October and November. More importantly, Sony got its hands on LCD panels when rivals like Panasonic struggled to find them.

"Whoever gets panels wins the game," Ono said.

Sony's TV business in the second quarter, which ended Sept. 30, still showed a $181 million loss. Discount LCD TV maker Vizio outpaced all rivals by units sold in the U.S. But Sony's strong sales of Cybershot digital cameras, camcorders and Vaio PCs offset the loss.

The company's earnings for the second quarter rose from barely profitable a year ago to $641 million, or 61 cents per U.S. share, beating views. Operating income in the electronics division jumped 13 times to about $939 million. Total sales rose 12.3% to $18.27 billion.

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jackdoe3935d ago

Bravia's too expensive for me, which is why I went with the Grand Wega HDTV.

Bathyj3935d ago

Its a shame. If you even have the means, they're bloody nice. How do they get that sheet of glass around the Tv?

felman873935d ago

But you'll need a lot of money

TANOD3935d ago

a hell lot cheaper.

If u havent got one then u sd get one NOW

Bonsai12143935d ago

the pioneer elite is actually a better tv than the bravia. though the bravia has a firm hold on second place.

titntin3935d ago

Not cheap, but easilly worth the extra investment.

I just got an x3500 (xbr4 in the U.S.) and its without a doubt the best quality LCD picture you can currently buy. Sony TV's have a habbit of lasting for a very long time too,(had my last one for 10+ years) so you'll get your money's worth! :)

stennexxx3935d ago

I got me the KDL-XBR4 40inch. Very good tv. Cnet placed it as #1 in LCDs.
This 1080p Hdtv is really. Brandsmart has a deal where you don't pay till 2009. I hope that Sony continues to drop the price. These hdtvs are perfect for everyone especially gamers. Hi-def images look so real with the motion enhancer turned on. Samsung is also a good hdtv to have but after seeing a lot of different hdtvs before i bought mine, if you ask me which one to buy i would recommend the Sony Bravia XBR.

boodybandit3935d ago

It's an excellent set. My next XBR will be the KDS-70XBR5 which is due out early 08. With a 12 bit panel that set is going to be sweet for gaming.

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