El Segundo, Calif. - More than one-fifth of all televisions
purchased by U.S. consumers in the first quarter sported displays that were
50 inches or larger, representing an all-time-high level, according to new IHS
A total of 22.7 percent of American consumers bought the
aforesaid television sets during the three months from January to March 2011,
compared to 19.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010.
The only other time when 50-inch-and-larger sets breached
the one-fifth sales mark-or more than 20 percent-occurred a year ago during the
first quarter of 2010, reaching the slightly lower level of 20.2 percent, as
shown in the attached table.
"The rising popularity of 50-inch-and-larger sets among U.S.
consumers stems from pure market economics," said Riddhi Patel, television
systems and retail services director at IHS. "Televisions have become less
expensive for the consumer, allowing even bigger sets previously considered
beyond the reach of most consumers to become accessible. Consumer demand for
ever-bigger sets has not abated, with the acquisition of larger televisions
viewed as highly desirable for ordinary American households."
TV brands also have been promoting 50-inch-and-larger
televisions in the market because the sets offered bigger margins and profits.
Average pricing for 50-inch-and-larger flat-panel
televisions-i.e., liquid crystal display (LCD) and plasma-in the United States amounted
to $1,582 in the first quarter of 2011, down 8 percent from $1,723 in the
fourth quarter of 2010.
While sales of 50-inch-and-larger televisions are on the
rise, smaller sets remain the most popular option for most consumers.
Reigning as the preferred size range for U.S. consumers were
TV sets sized 40 to 49 inches, capturing 39.5 percent of sales in the first
quarter this year, IHS iSuppli data show.
Next were TVs in the 30- to 39-inch range, at 25.5 percent,
followed by the 50-inch-and- larger sets.
For the remaining two size categories, the
smaller-than-20-inch range as well as the 20- to 29-inch range, fewer customers
bought into those groups during the equivalent period, and total numbers
decreased for both categories.
In addition to grabbing increased share, the size range
represented by 50-inch-and-larger sets was also significant in that its
percentage share of market grew the most between the fourth quarter last year
and the first quarter in 2011. The portion of U.S. consumers who preferred that
size grew 2.9 percent, compared to 1.2 percent for the 30- to 39-inch range and
0.6 percent for the most popular 40- to 49-inch range.
Following the Japanese earthquake and tsunami disaster, LCD
TV production in Japan has reported minimal disruption. Though some TV assembly
plants have been affected by semiconductor component shortages, the weak demand
worldwide in recent months for general component inventories has meant that the
TV markets suffered only very minimal impacts in the quake's aftermath, IHS