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DisplaySearch: Global PDP Shipments Slowing

Austin, Texas — Weaker demand for plasma display panels in North America and China resulted in relatively flat 1 percent 2Q quarter-to-quarter unit growth, to 3.5 million global second-quarter plasma panel shipments, coming off strong growth levels seen in the first quarter, according to a new DisplaySearch shipment and forecast report.

However, according to the DisplaySearch “Plasma and LCD TV Panel Shipment Module of the Quarterly Global TV Shipment and Forecast Report,” demand was high for plasma in other regions as well as in the 1080p (Full HD) segment, leading to a strong 54 percent year-over-year increase in units in the second quarter of 2008. The NPD Group company also reported that due to the rapid growth of 1080p panels, revenue increased 28 percent year-over-year and 6 percent quarter-over-quarter for the same period.

DisplaySearch said the significant increase in 1080p shipments was driven, in part, by new 46-inch models and 1080p share gains in the 42-inch and 50-inch screen sizes, leading to an overall increase in 1080p volume of 89 percent quarter-over-quarter and 333 percent year-over-year. The 1080p plasma panel segment now accounts for 21 percent of PDP panel shipments, DisplaySearch said.

More than 43 percent of Matsushita’s PDP panel shipments were 1080p, and overall Matsushita accounted for more than 70 percent of all 1080p PDP panel shipments. Matsushita was also the only supplier of 1080p PDP panels at 42 and 46 inches.

Weaker demand and increasing inventory in China since late March through April led to a 25 percent quarter-over-quarter decrease in 32-inch PDP panel shipments in the second quarter of 2008, a previously rapid growth size category.

“As the 1080p penetration of 40-inch-plus LCD TVs rises to 72 percent in developed countries and 47-inch in emerging regions in Q1 ’08, it is important for PDP panel makers and PDP TV brands to be competitive in 1080p, especially in 50-inch and larger size categories,” noted Hisakazu Torii, DisplaySearch TV market research VP.

Matsushita regained the No. 1 PDP panel supplier position in the second quarter, after its revenue share surged more than 7 points to 36.8 percent on 23 percent year-over-year growth.

DisplaySearch said Matsushita is also capitalizing on its decision to launch 46-inch 1080p PDP, which continues to grow without significant cannibalization of the 42-inch or 50-inch categories. LG dropped from No. 2 to No. 3 as the sole supplier of 32-inch panels, which suffered growth problems in the second quarter. Samsung SDI fell from No. 1 to No. 2 even with 49 percent year-over-year growth, the largest of any supplier, which was largely due to 50-inch shipments, DisplaySearch said.

Share for Hitachi and Pioneer fell by 22 percent and 8 percent, respectively.

Table 1: Plasma Panel Revenue Share and Growth by Supplier