Samsung Edges Out TV Rivals

The boom in flat-panel television sets has so far been a boon for Samsung Electronics Co.

Samsung’s TV manufacturing business has nearly doubled in size since 2006–the year it surpassed Sony Corp. (SNE) to become the world’s biggest seller of TV sets–and the company is closing in on 20 percent global market share in TV unit sales, a threshold not reached by any manufacturer since the earliest days of the industry more than 60 years ago.

Of course, success comes with costs. Unlike many of its rivals, who have increasingly outsourced production to reduce costs, Samsung has ramped up TV manufacturing almost entirely on its own, relying on outside contractors only to finish tube TVs in a handful of less-affluent markets.

Samsung executives say they prefer to control production for quality assurance and to keep a direct eye on costs. But now the company finds itself in the unusual position of having to expand its own TV factories.

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