by September 6, 2004 0 comments

Samsung wins this newly introduced segment that replaces the previous DVD drive. LG is second, followed by Sony, Creative, Mercury and Philips, in that order.

This is the first time since we started tracking the optical-drives market that so many brands have made it to the Users’ Choice Club. Does that show a heightened user interest in the category? It is too early to pass a verdict, but suffice to say the battle for market supremacy may be tighter than expected. 

As with most other personal products, someone other than the winner enjoys more brand loyalty. That honor goes to Sony, who with a loyalty of 68 percent is only slightly ahead of winner Samsung. LG enjoys a loyalty of 60 percent and Creative comes in with a low 48 percent.

Samsung’s gains will come from Creative, Others and LG, in that order, and in turn, whatever shift will happen away from Samsung, most will be to Sony (12 percent), followed by LG (9 percent). LG, on the other hand, seems to be more or less evenly poised vis-à-vis Sony, losing 19 percent to Sony, and gaining 13 percent from it. LG is similarly evenly poised with respect to all brands. It will lose 10 percent to Samsung, while gaining 9 percent from it. It will lose 4 percent to Creative and gain a similar percentage from it. Ten percent of LG users could switch to other brands, while 14 percent users from such brands could switch to LG. Sony, meanwhile, stands to make gains from LG, Samsung and other brands, in that order. Sony users are likely to shift slightly more to LG than to

So, which way is the market poised to move? According to our brand-switch matrix, Samsung will gain, LG will remain steady, Creative will decline and Sony will make slight gains. In a nutshell, the winner, Samsung, is likely to consolidate its position further in this market.

This is a market where prices are always going steeply south, and a sustained aggressive price play by any brand could swing the battle in the short to medium term. Other determinants in brand fortunes have been product availability at retail points and channel schemes. The joker in the pack that could turn brand fortunes could thus be aggressive pricing and channel push than anything else.

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