Austin, Texas - Global TV shipments fell by 0.3 percent to 247.7 million units in 2011, marking the first time global shipments experienced a decline since
began tracking them in 2004, according to a new report from the category market analyst.
LCD TV shipments represented a distinction, however, as global shipments increased by 7 percent to just more than 205 million units in 2011, which was still significantly slower than in previous years, a new DisplaySearch report documents.
Meanwhile, worldwide plasma TV shipments dropped almost 7 percent in 2011 to 17.2 million units, the largest decline for the category to date. CRT shipments (still available in some global regions) fell 34 percent.
Paul Gagnon, NPD DisplaySearch North American TV research director, noted the declines were well below expectations, and were largely due to "excessive inventory levels early in 2011 for the U.S. and European markets, as well as a sharp drop in demand in Japan following the end of the government sponsored Eco-Points program that caused a surge in replacement activity during 2009-2010."
The fourth-quarter 2011 shipments were down 4 percent year to year globally, to 74.2 million units, with LCD TV shipments rising just 1 percent, which was another low point since NPD DisplaySearch began tracking shipments.
Plasma TV units were down 8 percent, and CRTs were down 43 percent.
The decline in unit shipments was most severe in Japan and Western Europe, the report noted, as North America saw mild growth.
Collectively, TV shipments in the developed regions (North America, Japan and Western Europe) declined 21 percent year to year in the fourth quarter of 2011.
TV shipment growth in emerging regions continues to be strong though, increasing 12 percent year to year in the fourth quarter, with LCD TV unit shipments rising 20 percent.
China continued to hold the lead as the top region for TV shipments, at 21 percent, unchanged from the previous quarter, with TV shipments totaling 15.6 million units for the fourth quarter and 49 million units for 2011.
China also had strong growth in 2011, with shipments increasing 19 percent year to year in the fourth quarter, the highest of any region.
More than 90 percent of TV sets in the region were LCD as of 2011. North America was the second largest region for TV shipments, accounting for 20.5 percent of shipments in the fourth quarter, and was the only developed region to experience year-to-year shipment growth, DisplaySearch said.
Samsung's global flat-panel TV revenue share increased in the fourth quarter of 2011, to 26.3 percent, which is a record level for any brand and a 3 percent increase from previous quarter.
Samsung was also the global revenue market share leader in both LCD and plasma, displacing Panasonic as the leader of plasma revenue market share for the first time, NPD DisplaySearch said.