Global TV demand begins to dip

Joseph O'Halloran ©RapidTVNews | 12-10-2011

Continued growth in emerging markets has not yet been able to arrest a decline in overall global TV shipments for 2011 according to new survey data from DisplaySearch.
“Demand in regions like North America and Europe has fallen short of expectations as persistent economic problems have made consumers cautious in their spending and highly value-seeking,” noted Paul Gagnon, Director of North America TV Research for DisplaySearch. “Emerging markets continue to show good growth, but it is not strong enough to counteract the weaker demand in developed markets, and as a result, we have lowered our unit forecasts for LCD and plasma TV.”

In its Quarterly Advanced Global TV Shipment and Forecast Report, DisplaySearch suggests that total TV shipments will not grow from 2010 to 2011, holding at 248 million units. Plasma TVs will account for 17 million units and LCD will likely account for 206 million shipment, five million fewer than what was predicted in the previous DisplaySearch forecast and a key reason the overall TV market forecast was reduced.

Explained Gagnon: “LCD TVs account for more than 80% share of all global TV shipments. LCD TV supply chain participants—including panel makers, OEMs, and TV brands—have all lowered their outlook for 2011 demand, despite a recent drop in LCD panel prices. Long-term, we continue to forecast annual growth in demand for LCD TVs, although generally we expect less than 10% growth each year.”
Yet even though total TV unit demand for 2011 looks to be flat, shipments of flat panel TVs, which excludes CRT and rear projection technologies, will increase about 6% year on year. This growth looks likely to improve to 9% in 2012, as the premium for advanced features continues to fall and manufacturers bring low-cost solutions to emerging markets in an effort spur faster replacement of CRT TVs.
In terms of state of the art technologies, a growing share of new premium features, like LED backlights and 3D, are helping to keep the LCD TV category average prices stable. However, with the slower unit growth, total LCD TV revenues are expected to be flat this year. After increasing slightly in 2012, revenues should begin a gradual decline beginning in 2013. The forecast share of LED backlights in LCD TV shipments has been reduced slightly to 46% in 2011, but is still expected to become the dominant backlight technology for LCD in 2012 and reach nearly 100% of shipments by 2015.
Despite a lot of negative press surrounding the technology, DisplaySearch’s worldwide forecast for 3D TVs was slightly increased through unexpected growth in emerging markets and Europe. That said the analyst recognises that North America is growing slower than expected. 3D TVs are expected to account for 11% of total TV shipments in North America, but 14% of Western E