LCD bucks trend of falling TV shipments

LCD bucks trend of falling TV shipments
TV shipments hit 44.6 million units in the second quarter of 2009, a year on year decline of eight per cent.

The figures come from research body DisplaySearch, which pinpointed LCD shipments as being "stronger than expected" but also reported that revenues for the TV market in general had fallen 12 per cent year on year to $23.7 billion (€16.5 billion).

LCD TVs continued to post remarkably strong unit growth, according to the organisation’s figures, while all other technologies showed year on year declines in units. DisplaySearch also said that during the global economic downturn buyers had looked for the lowest prices and pushed revenues down.

Globally, flat panel TV share jumped from 68 per cent in Q1’09 to 74 per cent in Q2’09 as LCD TV price erosion continued at the same annual pace as Q1’09, falling 22 per cent year on year on average. LCD TV market share increased as a result from 62 per cent to 67 per cent, acquiring nearly all that market share in a rapid shift from CRT to LCD in China as well as a big increase in North America market share from better than expected sell-through.

Despite tight supply conditions for LCD panels in Q2’09, LCD TV shipment growth managed to maintain the same pace as Q1’09, rising 27 per cent year on year, to 30 million units, although revenues fell 1 per cent year on year. Plasma market share increased about half a percent to seven per cent while CRT share plummeted from 32 per cent to 26 per cent on a unit basis. Both North America and China reached record shipment levels.

"LCD TV market growth remains impressive, gaining market share from incumbent technologies like CRT at a quickening pace despite higher prices and a tight supply situation in Q2’09" noted Paul Gagnon, director of TV North America TV Market Research at DisplaySearch. "Advanced technologies like high frame-rate LCDs and 1080p resolutions also continued to increase in market share as the price premium narrows, even in these tough economic times."

North America took the top regional position, reaching more than ten million units. It took the crown back from China where unit shipments fell 10 per cent quarter on quarter and 14 per cent year on year. The figures were mostly due to a large decline in CRT TV unit volume that wasn’t entirely made up by surging LCD growth. Western Europe continued to experience weakness with total units declining three per cent year on year and was overtaken for the number three market position by Asia Pacific.

On a brand basis, Samsung remained the global brand share leader in revenues for the 14th straight quarter, rising to a record revenue share of 23.0 per cent and also hitting a record unit share of 18.2 per cent. LGE remained number two after surpassing Sony in Q1’09, slightly increasing their revenue share to 13.7 per cent with small share gains in both LCD and plasma offsetting a decline in CRT share. Sony held the number three brand position worldwide in revenues, although losing a little more than a point of share.

Samsung reclaimed the top LCD unit share position from Vizio in the North America market. Vizio fell to number two on a unit basis in LCD TV for North America. Funai, which includes the Philips and Magnavox brand in North America, surpassed Sony and rose to number three, having the strongest quarter to quarter unit growth among the top five North America LCD TV brands.

China remains a very competitive market as well, one dominated by domestic brands. The top five LCD TV brands in China on a unit basis are all Chinese and collectively account for nearly three-quarters of all units shipped to the region in the second quarter of 2009. Skyworth was the top LCD TV brand at nearly 20 per cent unit share, but was followed closely by Hisense at number two. TCL rounded out the top three with 15 per cent unit share. Many foreign brands are eager to gain a foothold in China’s rapidly growing market, but must compete with lower-cost Chinese brands to do so.