25 March 2010


LED-backlit TVs to reach 20% of 180m-unit LCD TV market in 2010

In 2009, growth was robust for the flat-panel TV market, with total units rising by more than 32%, similar to 2008 growth rates, according to market research firm DisplaySearch in its ‘Quarterly Advanced Global TV Shipment and Forecast Report’. However, in markets such as Japan and China in particular, growth was better than in 2008, despite the recession. Given the strong result in 2009 and the positive influence of new technology introductions such as 3D and LED TV, DisplaySearch has increased its worldwide TV market forecast for 2010 by more than 10 million units to 228 million units.

“The rapid transition to flat-panel technologies in emerging markets and the robust level of growth even in mature markets has led us to improve our outlook for 2010,” says Hisakazu Torii, VP of TV market research. “This is especially true for LCD TVs, which are now projected to exceed 180 million units in 2010, a 24% increase over 2009. This is helped by the introduction of new technologies like 3D, as well as the expansion of newer features like LED backlights and internet connectivity.”

Price erosion was the major factor contributing to the growth in 2009, with LCD TV average prices falling 24% from 2008 (much more than any preceding year). In 2010, volume-weighted average prices are only projected to fall by 5% for LCD TVs and 10% for plasma TVs. The more modest decline is due to renewed growth in larger screen sizes, the fact that prices fell so far in 2009, and the increased share of more expensive LED-backlit LCD TV models (which carry a notable premium).

After a 2% decline in 2009, plasma TV unit shipments are expected to rise about 6% in 2010 to just over 15 million units, aided by more robust 40”+ growth and the introduction of 3D plasma TVs from a number of different manufacturers. CRT TV shipments will continue to fade, falling by 36% in 2010 after a 40% drop in 2009 (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Worldwide TV market by technology.

The outlook for LCD TV shipments has been increased to 180 million units in 2010, driven partly by the rapid expansion of LED-backlit models. In 2009, an estimated 3.6 million LED-backlit LCD TVs shipped worldwide, with more than half of that coming in Q4/2009. For 2010, companies throughout the supply chain are gearing up for a more aggressive rollout of LED models.

“LED-backlit LCD TVs carried a significant premium in 2009 over CCFL-backlit counterparts, more than 100% on average above 40” screen sizes,” notes Paul Gagnon, director of North America TV market research. “However, the increased level of competition among manufacturers in 2010, with LED models comprising more than 50% of some lineups, will drive that average premium down to less than 70% over 40” and as low as 17% at 22–24,” he adds. “Overall, this should push the LED-backlit LCD TV market to more than 35 million units or 20% of total LCD TV shipments worldwide.”

DisplaySearch is now tracking LCD TV shipments by backlight type, breaking the market into edge-type and direct-type (full-array). For 2010 as a whole, almost 90% of LCD TVs will be of the edge-type variety. This is due to the lower cost associated with using a smaller number of LEDs at the perimeter, as well as the attractive thin and light form factor (Figure 2).

Figure 2: LCD TV market revenue share by backlight type.

The high frame-rate segment of the LCD TV market also continues to expand, with 120Hz and higher frame rates accounting for about 22% of LCD TV unit shipments in 2010. At larger screen sizes, the 120Hz+ share jumps to more than 50%. Of course, on a revenue basis, the share is much higher due to the market premiums associated with high frame-rate models.

See related items:

LEDs to surpass CCFL in large-area TFT LCD backlights in 2011

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

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

Search: LED-backlit TVs