Thu, Dec 31, 2009 - Page 12 News List

Global demand for LCD TVs beats expectations

By Lisa Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Global demand for liquid-crystal-display (LCD) TVs is expected to grow at a faster-than-expected 34 percent year-on-year as a drastic price decline stimulates demand in China and countries in Western Europe and North America, market researcher DisplaySearch said in its latest report.

DisplaySearch said global demand for LCD TVs held up surprisingly well amid the worst global recession in decades, reversing a cautious outlook given at the beginning of the year.

Global shipments LCD TVs this year are expected to grow to 140.5 million units, the Austin, Texas-based research house said in the report issued yesterday. Initially, the researcher had estimated shipment would grow to 130 million units, from 105 million units last year.

Growth momentum is expected to extend into next year amid improving recovery in the global economy.

Global LCD TV shipments could grow by an additional 22 percent to 171 million units, higher than previous estimates by Display­Search of 154.9 million units.

Next year, the key drivers will be developed TV markets like North America, Japan and Western Europe, as well as emerging ­markets like China, where demand for flat panel TVs is accelerating, the report said.

Government stimulus packages are expected to spur demand in China and Japan, while switches from analog to digital broadcasting next year are likely to increase demand in Western Europe for digital TVs, the researcher said.

This year, a dramatic decline in TV prices was another factor boosting TV sales.

“LCD TV prices have been falling by between 20 percent and 30 percent year-on-year … on most screen sizes, with the average LCD TV prices expected to fall 24 percent in 2009, twice the rate of decline seen in 2008,” Paul Gagnon, director of North America TV market research, said in the report.

“The price declines are a strong influence on the robust demand,” Gagnon said.

The strong demand this year came mostly from TVs with screen sizes smaller than 40 inches, where prices neared US$500, but DisplaySearch expects larger screen sizes to resume growth from next year.

Advanced technologies like light-emitting diode backlights and 3D features could provide a catalyst for growth, particularly in higher-end products, ­DisplaySearch said.

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