LCD TVs Continue To Trounce Plasmas In Global Market Share

Vincent Teoh

LCD TVs continue to trounce plasma televisions when it comes to market share for the number of flat-screen TVs shipped worldwide, according to the latest monthly data released by Displaybank.

Out of over 20 million flat-screen televisions shipped globally in the month of September, LCD displays accounted for 90.8% (18.17 million units which represented a month-on-month growth of 29%), massively outselling plasma display panels (PDPs) which only captured a market share of 9.2 percent with 1.84 million units shipped. These figures came from a report titled “Monthly FPD TV Shipment Data” which is updated monthly by Displaybank, the Seoul-based market research firm specialising in the display industry.

Despite boasting superior viewing angles, screen uniformity and motion handling (all elements of picture quality which have endeared PDP technology to video enthusiasts), plasmas have been steadily losing ground to LCD HDTVs – whether illuminated by traditional cold-cathode fluorescent lamps (CCFLs) or the more recent LED bulbs – over the past five years, culminating in the current predicament of being dwarfed by LCDs in terms of shipment volume.

Factors that have been thought to contribute to LCDs’ dominance over plasmas are LCD technology’s lower manufacturing cost per unit, generally slimmer and less heavy form factor, and higher versatility. Unlike plasma TVs, LCD televisions usually do not suffer from image retention or screenburn, making LCDs more suitable to be used with PCs or for lengthy gaming sessions where static elements such as taskbars or dashboards are likely to be present on screen for longer periods.

Even though plasma technology has enjoyed a mini-revival as a result of the push for 3D TV since the beginning of 2010 (plasma’s faster response time reduces the occurrence of crosstalk), unfortunately it wasn’t enough to shift the momentum which remains firmly stacked in LCD’s favour. Following the high-profile withdrawals of Pioneer, VIZIO and Fujitsu from the plasma market due to deteriorating profitability, the only major TV makers left flying the plasma flags are Panasonic, Samsung and LG.