US 3DTV Sales To September Barely Exceed Half Of Annual Forecast

Vincent Teoh

Sales of 3D TV sets in the USA have only barely exceeded half the target forecast for 2010, even though three-quarters of the year have passed, according to numbers released by Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the United State’s de facto trade organisation for the consumer electronics industry.

The CEA reported that 655,000 units of 3D TVs were shipped in the US from January to September this year, just slightly more than half of the 1.05 million units of annual shipment initially predicted by the body.

Although there remain only 3 months for 3DTV shipment volume to pick up and make up the shortfall for its annual forecast to come true, CEA is confident that it can be achieved. A spokeswoman from CEA defended the organisation’s estimated figures as “realistic”, claiming that traditionally more HDTV displays are purchased in the fourth quarter as consumers loosen their wallets during the year-end festive holidays.

Nevertheless, these official sales figures will come as a blow to TV manufacturers who have trumpeted 3D technology since the beginning of the year to stimulate flat-screen HDTV purchases. The fact that these numbers come from the United States of America is especially damning, because the country is undeniably the number one market targeted by TV makers due to the sheer size and purchasing power of its population.

In truth though, the 3D TV sales figures reported by CEA can hardly be described as surprising if many recent consumer surveys – including those outside the US – are anything to go by. Most polls and industry analysts agree that there are still a significant number of factors putting the public off buying a 3D TV, namely high prices, the need to wear special 3D glasses to watch 3D content, and a persistent paucity of available 3D content.