Network Convergence

LCD TV shipment growth falls to record low in 2Q11, says DisplaySearch

Updated:2011/8/26 17:47

Global TV shipments were soft in first quarter 2011 as the worldwide TV supply chain digested excess inventory, but still had an on-year growth of 1%. In second-quarter 2011, TV shipment growth turned negative, declining 1% on-year, according to DisplaySearch. Price declines and inventory pressure at retail due to lackluster consumer demand continue to put pressure on TV brands.

LCD TV shipments worldwide grew at least 20% each quarter in 2010, but so far have only risen 9% year-on-year in first-quarter 2011 and 6% on-year in second-quarter 2011. The slowing growth has impacted both developed and emerging markets, with LCD TV units falling 5% and rising 19% respectively, both well below the rate of growth a year earlier.

LED share increased from 18% of LCD TV shipments in second-quarter 2010 to over 43% in second-quarter 2011, but still carries a 74% average premium across all sizes, though this is down from a more than 120% premium a year ago. Critical LED backlight cost breakthroughs have been slow to materialize.

Plasma TV shipments had shown surging growth in 2010, increasing a remarkable 30% year-on-year after negative growth in 2009. The boost in growth had a lot to do with market pricing advantages against LCD for similar sizes and consumers who continued to focus on price. LCD TV prices started to narrow the gap this year, and the premium for a 42-in class CCFL LCD narrowed from 13% in second-quarter 2010 to less than 1% in second-quarter 2011 over plasma. Plasma TV shipments fell 6% in second-quarter 2011 after double digit growth throughout 2010.

By region, China had stronger growth, rising 10% year-on-year compared to a 6% decline in North America. The Asia Pacific region grew to No. 3 for the first time, surpassing Western Europe, where retail inventory remains a problem. Despite concerns about weak demand following the March 11, 2011, earthquakes in Japan, shipments of TVs in Japan surged 40% as consumers replaced older TVs with newer digital tuner equipped models ahead of the July 24 analog broadcast cutoff.

As TV brands and retailers continue to push for the transition to LED backlights in LCD TVs, due to both premium prices and better energy consumption, the growth in shipment share continues to rise, reaching 43% in second-quarter 2011. Of all LED-backlit LCD TV shipments, 98% were edge-lit models due to slimmer form factor, lower power consumption and lower cost. LED penetration in Japan and Western Europe has already surpassed 50% of LCD TV shipments, and China is nearly at 50%. Most other regions, including North America, have around 20-35% of LCD TV shipments as LED.

During second-quarter 2011, 3D enjoyed a sizeable increase in market share, rising from 4% of shipments in the first quarter to almost 9% in the second quarter. The growth in share signifies that manufacturers have greatly expanded the number of 3D-capable models and reduced the premium associated with the technology, giving consumers more choice. There have also been a wider range of new sizes, down to 32-inch, and in the case of LCD, lower frame rate models with 3D available. DisplaySearch estimates that about a quarter of 3D TV shipments use passive 3D technology and the remainder use active shutter-glass technology.

Samsung's global flat panel TV revenue share was up slightly in second-quarter 2011 to 22.6%, a substantial lead over the No. 2 brand LG Electronics (LGE). Samsung was the No.1 brand on a revenue basis in almost every region, with the exception of Japan and China where domestic brands dominate, even surpassing LGE in Asia Pacific markets. Samsung was the top player in LCD revenues but ranked as the second in both plasma and CRT TV revenues. Samsung also regained the No.1 LCD TV unit share position in second-quarter 2011 from Vizio for the first time in over a year.

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