Sound growth for flat-panel TV shipments in Q1 2014
Joseph O'Halloran
| 12 June 2014
Analyst IHS Technology has stated that worldwide shipments of flat-panel televisions rose 'convincingly' in the first quarter of 2014 compared with the same period last year, putting the industry on a firm footing.

The TV Systems Databases: Monthly TV Shipments May 2014 report also found that the market for liquid-crystal display (LCD) televisions was 'particularly robust', climbing 4% from January to March this year to 47.36 million units. Total flat-panel TV shipments in the first quarter remained up by 3.3% to 49.36 million units, this despite a 16% decline to 2.00 million units for global plasma display panel televisions (PDP TV) which the analyst says are on their way out of the industry permanently.

In somewhat of a surprise, said IHS, renewed demand for TV sets in developed markets was a key global market driver. The analyst proposed that rejuvenated interest could likely be coming from the release of new sets, including 4K/UltraHD models. Yet South Korean manufacturers performed the best among flat-panel TV firms during the first quarter, and with aggregate shipments of 17 million units between them, Samsung and LG continued to be the top brands and makers of flat-panel TVs. Overall, the South Koreans maintained year-on-year shipment growth higher than 10% for each of the three months in the first quarter.

"LCD TV shipments had expanded in the first quarter of 2013 because of a decline in the market during the same time in 2012, so in that sense growth last year was almost to be expected," said Jusy Hong, principal analyst for consumer devices at IHS. "But for the first quarter this year, shipments increased from an already respectable level during the same time in 2013, so what the industry has just experienced represents well-founded growth indeed at this time."

With the surprisingly robust expansion for the first quarter launching the industry on a solid start for the year, LCD TV shipments for 2014 could grow by 4% or even higher, Hong added.