Market researcher TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) cut its forecast for global LCD TV shipments by 3 percent to 208.8 million units this year, reflecting the impact of an uncertain European economic recovery and China’s suspension of subsidies for TV purchases.
WitsView, TrendForce’s flat-screen research division, now forecasts a mere 1.1 percent annual growth from last year’s 206.5 million units. The Taipei-based market researcher had expected the world’s TV makers to ship 215.5 million units this year.
The downward revision came after global LCD TV shipments in the first quarter fell 26.7 percent sequentially to 45.2 million units.
This quarter, global shipments are expected to grow by between 5 and 6 percent sequentially, WitsView said in a report.
“TV makers are just about doing OK in the first half of the year,” WitsView analyst Burrell Liu (劉陳宏) said in the report.
“Seasonal demand in the second half is uncertain in the face of an unstable global economic recovery and China’s withdrawal of subsidies for TV purchases,” Liu added.
This could add greater risk to the global LCD industry, as TV makers become more cautious about panel inventory buildup in the second half of the year.
“As LCD panel makers are running their factories at high utilization rates and shipping as many panels as they can, panel buyers [TV makers] are gaining the upper hand on pricing,” Liu said.
Utilization rates at Taiwanese panel manufacturers, including Innolux Corp (群創光電) and AU Optronics Corp (友達光電), are currently higher than 90 percent.
However, Chinese TV brands are increasingly buying LCD panels from Chinese firms rather than from Taiwanese suppliers, it said.
With the rise of Chinese TV brands, the global TV market saw major changes in the first three months of this year, WitsView said.
Chinese brands TCL and Hisense (海信) saw their global rankings rise to No. 3 and No. 4 respectively after shipping 8.5 percent more TV sets, overtaking Japan’s Sony Corp and Toshiba Corp, the report showed.
In total, Chinese TV brands accounted for a 28 percent share of the global TV market last quarter, WitsView added.
South Korean TV brands, led by Samsung Electronics Co and LG Electronics Inc, saw their market share increase to 33.3 percent last quarter, while Japanese brands maintained an 18.8 percent share, the researcher said.