LCD TVs Shipped Worldwide Suffers First Ever Y/Y Drop

Jonathan Sutton

Recently released figures from market research firm DisplaySearch have shown that in the first quarter of 2012, television shipments around the world saw a year-on-year fall of nearly 8 percent. This is the steepest rate of decline witnessed since the second quarter of 2009, and was largely down to a slowdown in shipments of LCD TVs, which experienced their first ever year-on-year decline.

LCD TV shipment
LCD TVs shipped worldwide suffers first ever Y/Y drop

The latest Advanced Quarterly Global TV Shipment and Forecast Report published by DisplaySearch showed that LCD TV shipments suffered a year-on-year drop of just over 3 percent in the first quarter, bringing the number of units shipped to 43 million. The company’s North America TV research director Paul Gagnon explained that the decrease in shipment numbers had been caused by “soft demand and cautious expectations about the upcoming year in many parts of the TV supply chain”.

He added that there remain certain trends that will keep contributing to the slowdown in unit volume. In addition to most TV manufacturers focusing on improving their bottom line, LCD panel and other key component prices are not expected to decline much over the course of this year, which will undoubtedly affect demand for flat-screen HDTV displays among consumers who are still price sensitive in the current uncertain economic climate.

The data also revealed that there was a slight drop in the market share of LCD televisions shipped in the first quarter of this year compared to the final quarter of 2011. This was attributed to a seasonal shift to emerging markets, where demand for CRT sets is higher. However, the LCD TV shipment share was higher by 4 percent compared to one year ago, taking it up to 84.2 percent.

According to DisplaySearch, LCD TVs have been increasingly popular in larger screen sizes, dominating the market sized 40 inches and over. This has been fuelled in part by a sharp decline in demand for plasmas, with year-on-year shipments of plasma TV units slumping by 18 percent in the first quarter of 2012.