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Global TV shipments to drop this year

Posted: 05 Oct 2012  Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:LCD market  TV shipment  OLED  CRT 

Alongside the equally dreary LCD market, global TV shipments are forecast to decrease by 5.4 per cent this year, after experiencing a peak last year, indicated IHS. TV shipments reached an all-time high of 255 million units in 2011 but will decline to 241 million this year, the first contraction to occur since IHS started tracking TVs. After years of double-digit-percentage increases, LCD TV shipments in 2012 will be flat compared to 2011, noted the market research firm.

The large drop in volume is due to decreased TV shipments into Japan, down from 19.8 million units in 2011 to just 7.5 million units in 2012, following the end of government subsidies for eco-friendly consumer electronics. Not counting Japan, global TV shipments are set to remain broadly the same in 2012, with growth in developing TV markets such as Latin America and the Middle East-Africa offset by the small decline in North America and Europe.

Meanwhile, shipments this year of legacy CRT TVs and plasma display panel TVs will continue to fall precipitously. CRT TV volumes will slide from 25.5 million in 2011 to 15.8 million this year, while PDP TV shipments will retreat to 8.9 million in 2012, down from 13.9 million last year.

Growth will return to the TV market in 2014. Once this stabilisation occurs, the year 2015 will see global shipments return to growth, and sales will rise in countries such as Brazil, India and Indonesia.

By 2017, IHS forecasts 282 million TVs will be shipped worldwide, far more than the current peak in 2011.

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Figure: Global TV Unit Shipment Forecast (Thousands of Units)
IHS iSuppli Research, October 2012.

One of the major reasons for the decline in unit shipments is the continued fall of CRT TVs. This is not a surprise given the long-term decline of the market, but it is having an impact on the overall shipment of TVs and causing a period of adjustment. By 2016, CRT TV technology will become nonexistent as all regions switch to LCD and OLED technology, IHS expressed.

Currently, there are no CRT TVs being shipped in Western Europe, North America and Japan. Eastern Europe now represents only a sliver of what once was a major shipment destination for the technology. Even the former stronghold of Latin America is experiencing a decrease in the number of shipments of CRT TVs in the region, with digitisation and economic growth spurring the uptake of flat-panels.

The majority of CRT TVs that are shipped now go into the Asia-Pacific region, primarily into India and Indonesia, at about 60 per cent, with the next most significant region being the Middle East and Africa—primarily sub-Saharan Africa—at 15 per cent. However, even these regions will be phasing out of the CRT-TV business during the next three years.

In 2012, two of the largest supporters of PDP—Panasonic and LG Electronics—began scaling back plasma operations. LG reduced shipments in 1H12, as did Panasonic. Only Samsung actually increased shipments in 2012. Plasma TVs do not lack for quality, but with large-sized LCD TVs rapidly reducing their pricing, plasma demand is beginning to decline, and with the exception of Samsung, manufacturers are transitioning away from plasma volumes.

While the inevitable decline for CRT and PDP TVs continues, OLED TVs will be the next big thing. While the early OLED TVs were launched in 2009 and 2010 by Sony and LG, these were small 11 and 15in TVs that were priced extremely high, limiting their appeal among consumers.

In Q3, both LG and Samsung are releasing 55in OLED TVs into the market. These TVs are initially expected to carry a very high average selling price—at around the $9,000 mark—but the launch will only be the first of many for the market, as Panasonic and Sony also have plans to collaborate on an OLED TV sometime in the future.

Revenue for OLED TVs will rise to $13.9 billion in 2016, up from a meager $500 million in 2013, on their way to $17.3 billion in 2017. Meanwhile, shipments are expected to rise to 18.3 million units by 2017, up from just 55,000 units this year, predicted the market research firm.





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