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2010 Plasma Shipments Saw Rebound

Santa Clara, Calif. – A recent


study found plasma panel
shipments grew every quarter, year over year, during 2010.

In fact, the market research firm said further growth “seems to
be supply-limited.”

“This is a surprising result, as weak economic conditions
resulted in several plasma players exiting the plasma TV business in 2009, and
plasma faced a renewed threat from LCD TVs with the improvements from LED
backlights narrowing the performance gap with plasma,” the DisplaySearch
Quarterly Global TV Shipment and Forecast Report stated.

The firm said the aggressive rollout of LED-backlit LCD TVs
caused a significant slowdown in the decline in LCD TV average prices, and with
the increased importance of value in many markets, plasma TV was very competitive
with LCD in greater-than-40-inch market segments.

Fourth-quarter 2010 plasma TV panel shipments grew 1 percent
quarter over quarter and 9 percent year over year to 5.2 million units. Major
plasma makers operated at maximum capacity, and one new entrant — COC — started
mass production of 42-inch panels in China in Q4 2010, DisplaySearch said.

Plasma TVs were well-suited for consumers’ purchasing habits in
2010, providing the most affordable large flat-panel TVs for many consumers,
DisplaySearch observed.

Plasma Panel Unit Share & Growth by Supplier (2009-2010)

In addition, the strong industry push for 3D TV helped, as some
reviewers and consumers concluded that plasma TV had superior 3D performance
compared to LCD TV, especially in the area of reduced flicker.

“While 3D has not played a big role in the growth of plasma
shipments, it has helped to support plasma TV in the competition with LCD TV,” stated
Ken Park, DisplaySearch Korea TV market research senior analyst. “With 3D
functionality, plasma can reposition itself as a lasting technology in the TV
industry. In fact, plasma TV brands are entering 2011 with 3D across their
product portfolios, from 42-inch HD to 152-inch.”

The top plasma TV panel suppliers in 2010 on a unit basis were
Panasonic, which grew 22 percent year over year; Samsung SDI, which grew 37
percent year over year; and LGE, which grew 30 percent year over year.

Additional findings in  the
report said that plasma TV panel shipments, which were in decline at 15.1
million units in 2008, jumped to 19.1 million in 2010 from 14.8 million the
year before.

The share of plasma TV panel shipments 50 inches and larger
reached 40.8 percent in 2010, up from 38 percent in 2009, as plasma TV panel
makers exited the 32-inch market due to low LCD prices, while the 42-inch market
has narrow profit margins, leading plasma TV brands to focus on the 50-inch and
larger market where they remain more competitively priced than LCD.

DisplaySearch said the share of 1080p plasma TV panel shipments
barely increased in 2010, due to consumer price sensitivity.

As a result, Samsung introduced a 50-inch 720p 3D plasma TV for
the first time in the second half of the year.

For more on acquiring the report, contact Charles Camaroto at (888)
436-7673 or (516) 625-2452, or email

[email protected]