Thu, Jul 12, 2012 - Page 13 News List

LCD TV demand growth to slow

By George Liao  /  Staff reporter

Global shipments of LCD TVs are expected to grow at a slower-than-expected pace this year than last year, as consumers in Europe and Asia become cautious about spending amid economic uncertainty, according to the latest report issued by market research firm NPD DisplaySearch yesterday.

Global LCD TV shipments are expected to expand 5 percent annually to 216 million units. Last year, the growth rate was 7 percent.

The slower growth in LCD TV shipments can also be attributed to the slowdown in price cuts, the report said. Average LCD TV retail prices are expected to decline only 4 percent this year, compared with a 6 percent drop last year and a 10 percent reduction the year before, the researcher said.

“A greater focus on profits by many LCD TV supply chain members will lead to softer price erosion, which in turn has a direct impact on sales,” said Paul Gagnon, director of North America TV Research for NPD DisplaySearch.

Growth is also slower this year as the global transition to digital broadcasting, which drove up demand in major markets over the past few years, has largely been completed, except in some emerging markets, according to the report.

LCD TVs remain the only growing TV technology, as organic-LED (OLED) TVs are likely to launch late this year, and LCD continues to take market share from both cathode-ray tube and plasma technologies, the report said.

LCD TVs are expected to account for about 88 percent of total TV shipments worldwide this year, up from 82 percent the year before, and are projected to peak at about 97 percent of overall unit demand in 2015, according to the forecast.

Of LCD TV shipments, the share of LED-backlit LCD TVs is expected to increase to 69 percent this year from just 45 percent last year, with the primary reason for the growth being the introduction of low-cost direct-lit LED backlit models that can be priced at a very small premium over cold cathode fluorescent lamp (CCFL) backlit models, the report said.

“Direct-lit LED LCD TVs are bulkier than thin edge-lit models, but the lower cost will help move the market away from CCFLs. Several governments, like China, are encouraging the purchase of these more energy-efficient models,” the report said.

As for the 3D TV segment, the report said the outlook for 3D TV shipments had cooled somewhat, but DisplaySearch still forecast 74 percent year-on-year growth.

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