Quarter-to-quarter global sales revenue for LCD TVs surpassed that of plasma TVs for the first time in fourth quarter of 2006 following strong sales in the 40-inch to 46-inch screen size segment, according to a report just released from market research firm DisplaySearch.
Meanwhile, Sony took top revenue spots in worldwide LCD TV sales, while Samsung took top unit sales market share for the category. Samsung was also the top unit sales and revenue earner in overall television sales, worldwide, during the fourth quarter, the report states.
In other categories, Panasonic was the dominant brand in global plasma TV unit sales and revenue during the period, and Sony took the top microdisplay rear-projection TV brand share honors for units and revenue, worldwide, in the fourth quarter.
DisplaySearch's fourth-quarter 2006 TV shipment report and forecast tracked 53 different TV brands.
According to the report, overall global TV unit shipments grew 26 percent quarter-to-quarter (Q3 to Q4) in the seasonally strong fourth quarter while declining 1 percent year-to-year (Q4 2005 to Q42006) to 57.6 million, Display Search said. North America registered the highest year-over-year (full year 2005 over full year 2006) overall TV unit growth, which DisplaySearch attributed to "excessive sell-in during the third quarter leading to rapid price declines in large-sized flat -panel TVs."
According to the report, LCD TV was the only technology to enjoy year-over-year revenue growth worldwide in the period, up 72 percent, as 117 percent LCD unit growth offset the 21 percent average selling price declines.
LCD TV shipments reached a record high 18.6 million units, worldwide, and a 32 percent share of the overall television market in the fourth quarter of 2006, DisplaySearch said. For the year, LCD TVs rose 119 percent to 46.4 million units and a 24 percent share, up from 11 percent in 2005. On a revenue basis, LCD TVs led with a 49 percent share, up from 32 percent in 2005.
The report said that LCD TV revenue surpassed CRT TV revenue in North America for the first time in the fourth quarter.
LCD TVs rose from 4 percent unit share worldwide in the third quarter of 2006 to 7 percent unit share in fourth quarter of 2006, earning a 9 percent share in North America. Also, worldwide 1,080p LCD TV sales overtook 720p LCD TVs on a unit basis in the 46-inch to 47-inch segment in the period and reached a 30 percent revenue share at 40-inch to 44-inches.
Sony widened its revenue share advantage over Samsung in the 40-inch to 44-inch segment worldwide, DisplaySearch said, by accounting for more than a 50 percent share in 40-inch to 42-inch 1,080p models. While Samsung fell to No. 2 in LCD TV revenues, Sharp, Philips and LGE remained Nos. 3 -5 with only Philips gaining share.
For the year, Sony led in worldwide LCD TV revenues for the first time with a 16 percent share followed by Samsung at 15 percent and Sharp at 11.5 percent.
"2006 was the first year Sharp had not been No. 1 in LCD TV revenues," DisplaySearch said.
On a global LCD TV unit basis in the quarter, Samsung ranked No. 1 with a 14 percent share followed by Philips at 13 percent, Sony at 12 percent, Sharp at 10 percent and LGE at 7 percent, DisplaySearch said.
For the year, Samsung led with a 13.4 percent share followed by Philips at 13.0 percent, Sony at 11.6 percent, Sharp at 11.3 percent and LGE at 7 percent.
In the plasma TV segments, DisplaySearch said worldwide revenues were up 7 percent in the fourth quarter over the prior quarter, but fell 4 percent over the same period last year to $5 billion. It marked the first quarter that plasma TV revenues have declined year to year. The result was attributed to a loss of share to LCDs in the 40-inch to 44-inch segment and rapid price erosion, DisplaySearch said.
However, plasma over took microdisplay rear projection TVs for the first in the 50W-inch plus segment in the fourth quarter of 2006 with a 42.5 percent to 42.3 percent advantage.
In the 50-inch to 54-inch segment plasma held 55 percent share, up 34 percent from the third quarter and up 35 percent from the fourth quarter of 2005 at 3.1 million units, worldwide. Share of the 50-inch-plus segment grew total plasma TV shipments from 13 percent in the fourth quarter of 2005 to 23 percent in the fourth quarter of 2006. However, the growth was insufficient to offset the aggressive price declines, DisplaySearch said.
The average selling price for a plasma TV fell 20 percent from the third quarter and 29 percent from the same period last year, to $1,643.
For the year, plasma TV shipments rose 57 percent to 9.2 million units worldwide, while plasma TV revenues grew 22 percent to $18.5 billion on a 22 percent decline in average selling price. In fourth quarter, 60-inch plus plasma TVs had the highest year to year growth on strong North American demand.
North America remained the top region for plasma sales with a 38 percent share and accounted for 63 percent of all plasma TV shipments in the 50-inch plus segment.
DisplaySearch said that on a worldwide basis, "Panasonic remained the dominant brand in Q4'06 with a 32 percent unit and 33 percent revenue share. On both unit and revenue shares, LGE remained No. 2 followed by Samsung, Philips, Hitachi and Pioneer. For the year, Panasonic led with a 29 percent revenue share followed by LGE at 16 percent, Samsung at 14 percent, Philips at 10 percent, Hitachi at 8 percent and Pioneer at 7 percent."
In microdisplay rear projection, unit shipments rose 17 percent quarter to quarter, while falling 9 percent year to year to 862,000 units, world wide, in the quarter. Share of the 55-inch-plus market rose from 70 percent in the third quarter of 2006 to 77 percent in the fourth quarter. For the year, microdisplays were up 13 percent year-to-year at 2.8 million units, world wide.
Over the year, microdisplay global revenues declined 34 percent year-to-year as the average selling price dipped 28 percent to $1,757, "despite a shift in size and resolution towards larger sizes and 1,080p resolution," DisplaySearch said.
For the year, microdisplay revenues were down 7 percent on an 18 percent decline in average selling price.
In the fourth quarter, 59 percent of microdisplay revenues were in 1,080p, compared with 25 percent in the year-ago period and 58 percent of MD RPTV revenues were in the 55-inch plus screen sizes, compared with 41 percent a year earlier.
By technology, DLP continued to lead in both global unit and revenue share and held a 43 percent share for the year. LCoS matched 3LCD revenue share in the fourth quarter as 3LCD unit shipments fell 34 percent year-to-year.
North America continued to dominate the MD RPTV market earning an 89 percent revenue share.