4KTV demand leaps as consumers show taste for large size LCD TVs

DetailsJoseph O'Halloran | 02 January 2015

As average TV size continues to increase, global LCD TV unit shipments are set to show growth of over 7% for 2014 according to a DisplaySearch report.

displaysearchThe company's latest Quarterly Global TV Shipment and Forecast Report shows that after a year of weak growth, worldwide LCD TV shipment growth has accelerated every quarter in 2014, with total units rising more than 10% in Q3. DisplaySearch has now raised the global forecast for 2014 LCD TV shipments to 223 million units, which is a 7% increase over the previous year on a unit basis, and a 16% increase on an area basis. The LCD TV shipment outlook for 2015 was also increased to 239 million units, as recent growth trends appear to be sustainable.

The survey also showed that the average size of LCD TV shipments increased 5% to 39", more than 1.5" larger than 2013. This increase in average size, combined with stronger unit growth, is fuelling renewed investment in LCD panel production capacity, said the analyst, noting that the larger sizes have also contributed to revenue growth and have helped to stabilise overall industry prices, on a volume-weighted basis. The shift to larger sizes has also resulted in strong demand for LCD-based 4KTVs, which are expected to grow more than 50%, reaching more than 32 million units in 2015.

"LCD TV shipments from manufacturers to retailers in the third quarter was stronger than expected in several regions, but especially in North America and Asia Pacific," explained Paul Gagnon, director of TV research for DisplaySearch. "Growth in these regions is driven by a new wave of replacement activity, with North American consumers replacing older flat-panel TVs and consumers in India and other Asia-Pacific countries replacing CRT TVs."

Year-over-year LCD TV shipments to retailers in North America increased nearly 24% in the third quarter but Gagnon warned that year-to-date growth has so far significantly outpaced sales to consumers. "Very strong growth in North America in recent quarters warrants careful observation, to ensure an inventory glut doesn't materialise, due to overzealous buying and selling at the manufacturer to retailer level," he added. "A very strong holiday season is needed to avoid an inventory hangover in early 2015."