1 January 2010


LCD TV shipments to grow 22% in 2010, boosted by LEDs

In third-quarter 2009, as the world begins to emerge from the economic malaise, total unit shipments for TVs rose year-on-year for the first time in a year, according to DisplaySearch’s latest ‘Quarterly Global TV Shipment and Forecast Report’. In addition, in first-quarter 2010 TV revenues are now expected to rise year-on-year for the first time in six quarters. Following 2009’s 1% decline to 205 million units, TV shipments should rise 6% to 218 million units in 2010. Key drivers are demand resilience in developed TV markets like North America, Japan and Western Europe, as well as accelerating demand from emerging markets for flat-panel TVs.

In particular, after a cautious outlook at the start of 2009, global demand for LCD TVs has held up well amid the worst global recession in decades. DisplaySearch has upgraded its 2009 LCD TV forecast to 140.5 million units, based on surging demand in China, as well as an improving outlook for LCD TVs in Western Europe and North America from large price declines.

“China is a hot growth engine for the global flat-panel TV market as the transition from CRT to LCD and plasma TVs continues to drive market growth,” notes Hisakazu Torii, VP of TV market research for DisplaySearch. “Government stimulus activity is having a positive effect on demand for flat-panel TVs in both China and Japan, while several upcoming analog-to-digital broadcast changes in 2010 are likely to increase demand in Western Europe for digital TVs,” he adds.

In fact, nearly all regions received a demand outlook upgrade, although overall LCD TV revenues are only expected to rise 1% in 2009 amid pricing pressure. “Large price declines in North America have been driving strong unit demand, especially for 19” to 32” sizes.”

Global average selling prices for all TV technologies are expected to fall 9% in 2009, the first year of declining average prices since the flat-panel TV transition began. The large decline, a result of both high flat-panel market share and price erosion, has boosted demand for TVs on a unit basis, but not enough to prevent a 10% decline in revenues, from $112bn to $101bn.

“LCD TV prices have been falling by 20–30% year-on-year or more at most screen sizes, with the overall average LCD TV price expected to fall 24% in 2009, twice the rate of decline seen in 2008,” notes Paul Gagnon, director of North America TV Market Research. “The price declines are a strong influence on the robust demand, but are coming at the expense of profitability for many in the supply chain, especially at the brand and reseller level,” he adds. “Ultimately though, tough times are a prime opportunity for companies to capture market share, and we've seen a distinct shift in share position in 2009.”

Global price erosion is expected to lessen in 2010 which, combined with increased unit demand, will return some positive revenue growth to the overall TV industry.

The worldwide CRT (cathode ray tube) TV shipment forecast for 2010 was downgraded to 32 million units on declining demand and a dwindling supply of core components. The forecast for plasma TVs has been upgraded slightly to 14.6 million units, based on increased demand expected in China from new local production. Meanwhile, the forecast for LCD TVs has been upgraded to 171 million units (up 22% on 2009’s 140.5 million). The strong demand in 2009 has come mostly from smaller screen sizes (less than 40”) where prices are near or below $500, but DisplaySearch now expects larger screen sizes to resume share growth in 2010 and beyond as economic conditions continue to improve.

Advanced technologies like LED backlights and 3D are expected to provide a further catalyst for growth, particularly for higher price point products where the premiums are more acceptable. LED-backlit LCD TVs in particular are poised for explosive growth in 2010, reckons DisplaySearch, as nearly every major TV brand will launch a wide variety of models and sizes, with aggressive targets for growth. From Q1/2010, DisplaySearch will report actual and forecast data for LED-backlit LCD TV shipments by brand, region, screen size, resolution and frame rate.

DisplaySearch is also tracking shipments of high-frame-rate LCD TVs. Higher frame rates are important to manufacturers and retailers seeking to mitigate the commoditization of LCD TVs with high-performance features and future technologies such as LED backlighting, and 3D TV will receive similar attention. The 100/120Hz frame rate models will account for 26% of LCD TV revenues in 2009, while 200/240Hz will take only about 5%. However, by 2013, 100/120Hz will account for 31% and 200/240Hz nearly 20%.

*The DisplaySearch 12th annual USFPD Conference ‘Laying the Foundations for the Next Wave of Growth: Energy Efficient & Low Cost Alternatives Lead the Way’ (Hilton San Diego Resort, CA, USA, 2–3 March) will focus on all major and emerging flat-panel display applications, as well as key components and materials related to the supply chain.

See related items:

LED-backlit LCD-TV shipments to rise eight-fold in 2010

LED TV backlighting market to grow at 148% to $7.5bn in 2013

LED market to nearly double to $14.3bn by 2013

Search: LED LCD-TVs LEDs