Are Samsung TVs falling out of favor? While the firm’s stranglehold on the market might be hard to loosen, major Chinese TV makers like TCL and Hisense are gaining ground thanks to cheaper budget models like the Hisense U6 and TCL 6-Series.
The data, which research firm Display Daily received from TrendForce, shows the ever-growing popularity of TCL and Hisense as 2023 shipment volumes hit a new low of 197 million units, the lowest its been in a decade.
In 2023 alone, TCL saw as much as 26.2 million units sold, a 16.3% growth against its shipments from the previous year while Hisense sold 27 million units, making waves with a 12.4% jump in growth over 2022.
The TL;DR of TCL TVs
In a report published earlier this year in May, Display Daily dives headlong into the ways both Hisense and TCL are proving themselves as major contenders in the LCD TV market. Founded in 1981, TCL has had a long history in the business, but its displays have only started to rise in popularity over the past five years with increased competitive pricing and loads of awesome features.
Although its LCD business is a major factor according to Display Daily, newer offerings like its TCL Q7 QLED likewise prove it’s keeping up with contemporary trends just as well as Samsung and Sony are through modern offerings at great prices.
TCL has made a mark for itself with the 6-series, which remains a top model in our best TVs each year, and the QM8 mini-LED was even heralded for its exceptional gaming prowess amid our picks for best gaming TVs of 2023.
The TV manufacturer was awarded Top 2 TV brand from Omdia’s Global TV sets report of 2022, showing just how much TCL has risen in market share and outward acceptance. In January, the firm likewise celebrated two CES Innovation Awards for its Mini LED 4K TVs, the C835 and C935, proving its commitment of keeping up with major rival brands, main among them being Samsung.
Making sense of Hisense's growth
While TCL TVs have flourished in the past 5 years or so, Hisense is only really just getting started. It hasn’t exactly been known to deliver exceptional display technology or picture quality, but rather is better known to hold incredible value at a fraction of the price on more major brands.
Hisense did, however, put a dent in the global TV market this year with an estimated 27 million units sold, just a bit over TCL itself. For perspective’s sake, while Samsung did outsell Hisense and TCL (and LG, as well), at a 36.3 million unit volume, it still saw a drop by as much as 9.8% year over year.
This just goes to show not only Samsung’s incredible grip on the market, but how it is seemingly slipping to the more affordable and less-tech savvy competition. Putting it on the map this year was Hisense’s U8H, a $700 Mini-LED unit at 55” that sports, as Nick Pino writes, “some of the best performance we’ve ever seen from a ULED TV in terms of brightness, contrast and color saturation.”
Hisense is also pushing quite competitively into the laser projector market with high-sung models like the PX1-Pro and the L9H. Although projectors may take a bit more time and technical upgrades to reach the heights of conventional TV sales, Hisense’s innovation in this part of the market is certainly a welcome one that could prove to be challenging for Samsung and Sony to dampen.
Is Samsung in trouble?
TrendForce data suggests that Samsung could see as much as a 10% decline in TV sales this year with a meteoric 153% year over year increase for its QD-OLED TV line. The firm continues to show ample promise with game-changing technologies, like its TV Gaming Hub smart software, which has Samsung success in the gaming category since its debut in 2022.
That being said, Samsung has still produced a number of award-winning TVs in 2023 like the Samsung S95C OLED and Samsung QN90C QLED. These TVs are undoubtedly more expensive than the models Hisense and TCL are finding success with, but they're still finding widespread adoption despite their higher price tag.
Should you shop for a TCL and Hisense when buying your next TV? As it currently stands, TCL and Hisense wield around a 13% market share individually against Samsung’s 18.5%, according to data provided via TrendForce.
If you're looking for more affordable options, TCL and Hisense are both reputable brands that offer a better price-to-performance ratio than rival Samsung TVs and are worth considering if you want one of the best budget TVs. On the other hand, if you want something a bit higher-end, Samsung's new QD-OLED TVs are tough to beat.
It’s unclear just how much Hisense and TCL will influence the market come 2024, but their slow and sure rise to fame is an interesting one to follow as Samsung takes a backseat to more affordable rivals.
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Ryan Epps is a Staff Writer under the TV/AV section at Tom's Guide focusing on TVs and projectors. When not researching PHOLEDs and writing about the next major innovation in the projector space, he's consuming random anime from the 90's, playing Dark Souls 3 again, or reading yet another Haruki Murakami novel.
Well no surprises here. My own buying experience tells me not to go for that big brands anymore.Reply
Back when 3D smart TV's were unique I spend big to ensure future proofing. Brought a 4k Samsung 3D tv. Within two years google stopped support of YouTube app and Samsung just said sorry can't do anything. No new apps in the ecosystem. Then I brought the awesome LG smart passive 4k 3D tv with magic remote. Awesome experience until the YouTube app started playing up. It still does ok but then I got smart instead of the tv and brought firestick. So what's the point of buying a Samsung or LG tv if there is no support and they forget about their customers. Guess what. The customer does not forget
Also in the day and age of awesome picture quality as a base standard customers are now more savvy. They dont fall for crap like quantum dot blah blah, marketing bull and think I need to buy X size with X refresh which is decent enough. Then pair it with chrome cast or firestick. These sticks are easy to replace as opposed to the entire tv which can cost dearly