For the first time in history, LCD TV shipments have fallen, a new report from research firm DisplaySearch has revealed.
According to the organization, its Advanced Quarterly Global TV Shipment and Forecast Report has shown that the world experienced an over 3 percent drop in LCD TV shipments for the first quarter of the year compared to the same quarter of last year.
Moreover, LCD TV shipments dropped a precipitous 33 percent when compared to shipment figures for Q4 2012.
However, LCD TV still dominated the Q1 2012 TV market share ranking at 84.2 percent, a four percentage point increase from its market share during Q1 2011.
Nonetheless, this drop in LCD TV shipments has contributed to an 8 percent drop year-over-year for the whole TV market.
According to DisplaySearch, this is the steepest rate of decline for the TV market since the second quarter of 2009.
“Soft demand and cautious expectations about the upcoming year in many parts of the TV supply chain have led to a slowdown in shipments,” NPD DisplaySearch’s Paul Gagnon said in a statement.
“Key component prices, such as LCD panels, are not expected to decline much in 2012, and many brands are concentrating on improving their bottom line. Both of these trends will contribute to slowing unit volume among a price conscious consumer market,” the Director of North America TV Research added.
Aside from the ominous forecast from DisplaySearch, its data also showed that other types of TVs are also suffering a decline in shipments. In particular, plasma display panel TVs (PDP TVs) experienced an even greater drop in shipments than LCD TVs.
According to the research organization, PDP TVs dropped 43 percent in shipments for the first quarter of 2012 compared to the fourth quarter of 2011 (quarter-over-quarter growth) and dropped 18 percent compared to the first quarter of 2011 (year-over-year growth).
Because of this “sharp decline” in PDP TV shipments, LCD TV is capturing market share at 40inches and larger screen sizes, DisplaySearch said.
Because of this trend, the average size of LCD TV has grown 5 percent year-over-year, the research firm said. “The average LCD TV screen size increased 5% Y/Y in Q1’12, passing 35” for the first time, with gains in both emerging and developed markets. The share of LCD TVs with LED backlights also rose sharply, from 51% in Q4’11 to almost 56% in Q1’12, 20 percentage points higher than a year ago because more affordable direct-type LED-backlit sets began shipping in Q1’12,” it wrote.
Demand for larger sizes also continues to grow, DisplaySearch said. “The market share for 40” and larger TVs increased from just under 31% a year ago to more than 37% in Q1’12 with total unit shipments for 40”+ rising 12% Y/Y. Larger sizes have become much more affordable with 40-44” LCD TV average prices below $600 and new 50” LCD TVs selling for less than $1000, joining 50”-class plasma TVs that have been selling for less than $700 for several quarters now,” it noted.
Other interesting facts from the research conducted by the organization include China remaining the biggest region for TV shipments after accounting for 20 percent of all units shipped during Q1 2012.
DisplaySearch also revealed that 3D TV shipment share has increased slightly to just over 14 percent of all TV shipments, and 16 percent of all flat panel TV shipments, in the world for the first quarter of the year. In a bit of a surprising twist, emerging markets are actually bigger consumers of 3D TVs than developed markets, the research firm said.
Worldwide Flat Panel TV Brand Rankings by Revenue Share
In DisplaySearch’s ranking of TV brands by revenue share, it has been revealed that Samsung Electronics still reigns supreme. This is in contrast to a different study by IHS iSuppli recently pointing out that Vizio has larger shipment market share than Samsung in the U.S.
According to DisplaySearch, Samsung’s revenue share for the first quarter of 2012 was 26 percent for the whole TV market, a 33 percent decline over the last quarter of last year but a positive 9 percent increase when compared to the first quarter of last year.
That’s an impressive feat when taken into context, DisplaySearch implies, as among the top 5 TV makers, Samsung was the only brand which grew in revenue share year-over-year. Adding to this accolade, “Samsung also was the top brand in the key segments of LCD TV, 40”+, LED-backlit LCD, and 3D TV,” DisplaySearch said.
LG Electronics follows Samsung with a 14.6 percent revenue share in Q1 2012 but it’s a 26 percent decline from its performance during Q4 2011 and a 7 percent fall compared to its revenue share for Q1 2011.
Sony, which also makes an expansive array of TVs including LCD TV units and LED TV units, comes in at 3 with a 9.4 percent revenue share. However, this is a huge 35 percent drop compared to Q4 2011 and a 21 percent drop compared to Q1 2011.
Image 1 from krynsky on Flickr (CC). Tables from DisplaySearch