Plasma shipments strong despite troubled market

DisplaySearch has reported a massive growth in plasma panel shipments which reached a record high in the last quarter of 2010.

Shipments have grown year on year every quarter since the fourth quarter of 2009 and the research government suggests growth is supply limited.

The growth is against a backdrop of weak economic conditions which forced some vendors out of the market in 2009. Furthermore plasma has faced a renewed threat from LCD TVs with improvements in LED backlights.

According to the DisplaySearch report fourth quarter plasma TV panel shipments in 2010 grew one percent quarter on quarter and nine percent year on year to 5.2 million units. Major plasma makers operated at maximum capacity and new entrant, COC, started mass production of 42” panels in China.

“While 3D has not played a big role in the growth of plasma shipments, it has helped to support plasma TV in the competition with LCD TV,” said Ken Park, DisplaySearch’s senior analyst for Korea TV Market Research. “With 3D functionality, plasma can re-position itself as a lasting technology in the TV industry. In fact, plasma TV brands are entering 2011 with 3D across their product portfolios, from 42”HD to 152”.”

Top plasma TV panel suppliers in 2010 on a unit basis were Panasonic, which grew 22 percent year on year, Samsung SDI, which grew 37 percent and LGE, with 30 percent growth.