For the first time ever, LCD TV shipments on a global scale have fallen, according to new data from NPD DisplaySearch.
According to the research firm, the 3 percent year-over-year (YoY) drop of LCD TV shipments for the Q1 2012 is the first time in history that LCD TV shipments have dropped YoY. The drop in LCD TV shipments worldwide contributed to the sharp 8 percent drop in global TV shipments in the world for the first quarter.
This 8 percent YoY drop in global TV shipments is the biggest drop the market has ever seen since the second quarter of 2009, DisplaySearch says. Nonetheless, the market is still big at 51 million units shipped for the first quarter of the year.
“Soft demand and cautious expectations about the upcoming year in many parts of the TV supply chain have led to a slowdown in shipments,” noted Paul Gagnon, NPD DisplaySearch Director of North America TV Research.
Gagnon added, “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.”
Furthermore, not only LCD TV shipments dropped for the first quarter, so did other types of TVs. Looking at this table from DisplaySearch, we see plasma TVs saw a drop in shipments of 43 percent for the first quarter compared to the previous quarter (Q4 2011) [quarter-over-quarter growth – QoQ] and 18 percent YoY. CRT TV shipments dropped 8 percent QoQ and 31 percent YoY.
Nonetheless, though shipments are decreasing, DisplaySearch did notice that those who bought TVs are opting for ever larger models. This is fueled by a drop in pricing, the research firm has 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 firm said. “Despite the weak results on a unit basis, demand for larger sizes continues to grow. 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 added.
As for revenue share of the top brands in the TV market for the quarter, DisplaySearch has the following table:
As LCD TV shipments wane, does this signal the beginning of the end of the technology for TVs? The decline of the LCD TV may take a while, but this may well be the beginning. OLED TVs are coming this year so we expect LCD TV shipment figures to stagnate and then decrease in the years to come. That is to be expected.
Image 1 from edkohler on Flickr (CC). Tables from DisplaySearch