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iSuppli: LED TV Sales See Q1 Sales Gains

5/24/2010 04:02:18 PM Eastern
El Segundo, Calif. - Falling prices and increased supply helped U.S. sales of LED-backlit LCD TVs in the first quarter of the year double their market share of the overall category compared with the fourth quarter of 2009, according to a new study released Monday by iSuppli.

According to iSuppli's Internet Video Content Leading Consumer IETV Adoption Report, LED-backlit LCD TVs, also known as LED TVs, accounted for 12.1 percent of all televisions purchased by consumers in the United States in the first quarter of 2010, up from 6.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009.

The share gains in the period were the highest yet for the category, which has seen steady share increases since the introduction of the technology last year, according to iSuppli.

LED TVs make use of LEDs to provide backlighting of LCD panels, in contrast with conventional LCD TVs using the older CCFL technology.

In comparison, the share of LCD TVs using CCFL backlighting fell to 74.4 percent in the first quarter, down from 79.7 percent in the fourth quarter.

Plasma television panels continued to hold steady at the 12 percent level, while rear-projection TVs and tube-type CRT-TVs were all but dead categories, the research firm reported.

"The growing popularity of LED TVs can be attributed to their increased availability and declining prices, according to iSuppli," stated Riddhi Patel, iSuppli television systems principal analyst. "From initially being available only at consumer electronics retailers and online stores, LED TVs now can be bought at club stores, such as Costco Wholesale Corp., and in mass merchandisers, like Walmart Stores Inc. Moreover, both value and premium brands have started offering LED TVs in smaller models -- including the 19-, 22- and 24-inch sizes -- broadening their appeal and accessibility."

Patel said prices of LED TVs declined on average by 19 percent from $2,380 in the fourth quarter of 2009 to $2,040 in the first quarter of 2010. As of April 2010, average pricing for LED TVs was further down to $1,830 -- an astonishing 50 percent decline from a year earlier.

Current LED TV prices carry a smaller price premium compared with LCD TVs using CCFLs, an important factor in the growing enthusiasm of the populace for the new sets, Patel observed.

Compared with CCFL-backlit LCD TVs, LED TVs also use less electricity, have a thinner form factor and generate less pollution to the environment during  manufacture, she said.

Many LED TVs also include the newer features and technologies that appeal to consumers wishing to upgrade from older sets.
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