Four years ago, you might have guessed that VIZIO was some sort of graphic design company or electric scooter manufacturer. It toiled about in relative obscurity until for a couple years and, at the end of the second quarter of 2005, the company sat in 15th place in the North American flat panel TV market.
Another two years have gone by since then, and VIZIO’s now the top dog.
The VIZIO brand, you may recall, made its first appearance at your local Sam’s Club and Costco stores. I should have known something big was going on when my parents and their friends started buying the TVs left and right, just wanting to get into the HDTV game that they’d heard so much about.
It makes perfect sense. Baby boomers are (here comes a generalization) under the impression that electronics all come out of the same factory somewhere in southeast Asia, so they’re not as brand conscious as younger generations (VIZIO is actually an American company, FYI). Furthermore, they LOVE going to Costco for some reason and, after seeing how much name-brand flat panel TVs had been selling for elsewhere, they were all excited at the possibility of “gettin’ a wheel of a deal” or whatever it is that old people say. So you’ve got legions of people my parents’ age buying VIZIO flat panel TVs.
?It is all about making great products more affordable. Dell proved it was possible with their PC?s, Southwest Airlines proved it on travel, we?ve proven it on flat panel HDTV?s,? says VIZIO CEO William Wang. ?I am glad to hear that with DisplaySearch?s numbers, we?ve officially earned the #1 spot for our vision and efforts, and I promise we?ll make VIZIO even better!?
Thanks in part to this early success, VIZIO has been able to get its TVs into big-name retailers like Circuit City, Sears, and Walmart. The company has recently announced four new 1080p models, starting at $1199 for a 42-inch display all the way to a 52-inch unit for $2299.