TV sets market set to make slight return in 2012

Joseph O'Halloran ©RapidTVNews | 04-01-2012

Most industry analysts would agree that 2012 will be a challenging year but a glimmer of hope has appeared in a NPD DisplaySearch report predicting the total TV set market to rise by 2% in 2012 after no growth in 2011.

In its Quarterly Global TV Shipment and Forecast Report, the analyst expects that the key 2011 handbrakes of soft consumer demand and early inventory pressure has disappeared and that the 2% growth will represent a total of 254 million units shipped.

"Global economic conditions have improved in 2011, but more slowly than expected, and consumers in mature TV markets like Europe face continuing uncertainty, which is leading to very cautious spending patterns," explained Paul Gagnon, Director of North America TV Research for NPD DisplaySearch. Gagnon added, "Because price reductions are not as vigorous as a few years ago, partially due to a mature manufacturing base but also because of transitions to advanced features like LED backlights and 3D, consumers are becoming more willing to wait for peak sale periods to purchase."
Looking at the key technologies in play, NPD DisplaySearch found that flat panel TV is growing slowly at 2-4% per year as the hitherto rapid transition from CRT screens nears an end. That said LCD TV continues to be by far the dominant technology on a unit and revenue basis, and in fact seems likely capture even more market share due to a weaker outlook for plasma TV going forward. Indeed NPD DisplaySearch expects this trend to continue and has reduced its forecast for plasma TV.
In absolute terms, the analyst expects LCD TV shipments to rise from 206 million units in 2011 to 225 million units in 2012, an increase of 9%, with LCD accounting for more than 82% of all global TV shipments in 2011, rising to more than 88% in 2012, as demand for plasma falls and new entrant OLED TVs arrive late in the year in small quantities due to still prohibitive pricing.
Going even more granular, NPD Display search believes that premium features such as LED backlights and 3D continue to grow and are minimising the dip in LCD TV average prices to around 6% year on year. Globally, 3D TV is expected rise to more than 100 million units shipped by 2015 despite the up and down nature of the 3D business.