TV shipments to stay flat in 2012

May 10, 2012 — Global TV shipments will remain flat in 2012, for the second year in a row. Shipments to developed markets, especially Western Europe and Japan, will fall 11% year to year (Y/Y), offset by 8% growth Y/Y in emerging markets, according to the NPD DisplaySearch Quarterly Advanced Global TV Shipment and Forecast Report.

The liquid crystal display (LCD) TV market will continue to grow, capturing market share from declining cathode ray tube (CRT) and plasma technologies. Consumers in saturated markets are cautious, making them sensitive to price differences. “LCD is expected to continue narrowing the price gap with plasma,” noted Paul Gagnon, director of North America TV Research for NPD DisplaySearch. Many TV brands are “focusing on profits over volume,” Gagnon added, suppressing the rate of price erosion compared to recent years. This too could impact demand.

Larger panels sizes continue to increase share, lifting the average size of TVs shipped to almost 35” in 2012, up from less than 30” four years ago. The growing number of larger display factories used to produce LCD TV panels has helped the average area price to fall rapidly. In developed markets, this encourages existing flat panel TV households to trade up to a larger size, driving a new replacement wave. It also lowers barriers to first-time adoption in emerging markets converting from CRT TVs.

LCD TVs are expected to account for more than 88.5% of total TV shipments worldwide in 2012, up from 82.5% in 2011. LCD TV shipments will grow 7% to 220M in 2012, and rise to 241M in 2013. Expect LCD TVs to hold >90% market share in 2013.

Plasma TVs will account for just 5.3% of shipment volume in 2012, down from its peak at about 7.4% in 2010. Plasma TV shipments will fall 24% in 2012 to 13.1M, dropping to less than 3M by 2015.

The newest flat panel TV technology, organic light-emitting diode (OLED), will debut in large sizes in 2012, but volume will be very small, starting with 50,000 or fewer units.

Figure. Worldwide TV forecast by technology. SOURCE: DisplaySearch Quarterly Advanced Global TV Shipment and Forecast Report.

The share of LED-backlight LCD TVs will increase to 70.1% in 2012, up from 45.3% in 2011, thanks to new low-cost direct-LED backlight models challenging CCFL-backlit models. bulkier than LED-edge-lit models, lower-cost direct-LED LCD TVs will attract the most price-sensitive consumers. Even so, 5 times as many edge-lit LED backlight LCD TV will be shipped than direct-lit models, and the premiums for edge-lit LED LCD TVs are expected to start falling faster later in the year.

3D TV had a soft start in North America, but is experiencing a surge in popularity elsewhere, with shipments of more than 24M units in 2011 and an anticipated 90% increase in 2012 to 46M units. Shipment penetration is expected to exceed 25% in both Western Europe and China and 20% in Eastern Europe. While North America is still expected to lag with 19% penetration in 2012, it should be the leading 3D shipment region by 2014, when most large screen sizes will include 3D capability as a standard feature; North America will be the top region for 40”+ TV shipments.

China became the largest overall TV market in 2009 and the largest LCD TV market in 2011. However, with household flat panel TV penetration reaching high levels in urban areas, growth is expected to slow until rural cities start seeing increased adoption. LCD TV shipments are forecast to grow 11% Y/Y in China during 2012, down from 17% Y/Y growth in 2011. Some of the first evidence of this slowdown was seen in recent May Day holiday sales results in China. According to Bing Zhang, Research Director in the China Market for NPD DisplaySearch, “Analysis of sales during the recent May Day holidays in China indicates that sell-through was below expectations with low- to mid-single-digit growth and slightly elevated inventories after the end of the holiday.”

The DisplaySearch Q1’12 Quarterly Advanced Global TV Shipment and Forecast Report, available now, includes panel and TV shipments by region and by size for nearly 60 brands, and also includes rolling 16-quarter forecasts, TV cost/price forecasts, and design wins.

NPD DisplaySearch provides global market research and consulting in the display supply chain, as well as the emerging photovoltaic/solar cell industries. Learn more at our new Displays Manufacturing Channel on Solid State Technology and subscribe to our Displays Digest e-newsletter!


Easily post a comment below using your Linkedin, Twitter, Google or Facebook account. Comments won't automatically be posted to your social media accounts unless you select to share.