DisplaySearch: Q1 TV Sales Sluggish - Twice

DisplaySearch: Q1 TV Sales Sluggish

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Austin, Texas — Global TV unit shipments fell 21 percent in the seasonally weak first quarter of 2007, but rose 4 percent to 45.5 million sets year to year, according to DisplaySearch’s just released Quarterly Global TV Shipment and Forecast Report.

DisplaySearch said blended TV prices fell 1 percent quarter to quarter while rising 5 percent year to year to $524, the lowest value since the first quarter of 2006.

LCD and plasma TV prices continued to experience rapid price erosion, falling 22 percent and 33 percent year to year to $936 and $1,562, respectively.

By region, North America had the fastest annual unit growth, up 9 percent, on strength in the warehouse club channel, which rose 96 percent year to year and offset a decline of more than 40 percent in both CRTs and CRT rear projection TVs (RPTVs).

Microdisplay (MD) RPTVs were down 10 percent year to year, although DLP RPTVs rose 28 percent to earn a 56 percent share of the MD RPTV category in North America, up significantly from a 39 percent share in the first quarter of 2006.

North America remained the largest region for overall TV sales on a revenue basis with a 28 percent share on 14 percent year-over-year growth, the fastest of all regions, led by its preference for larger TVs and high flat panel penetration, DisplaySearch said. The region accounted for 74 percent of all TVs 50 inches and larger and had the largest average size at over 32 inches.

By brand, Samsung was No. 1 on a global unit basis for the third consecutive quarter with a 12 percent share on 37 percent year over year growth, and was also the No. 1 brand on a revenue basis for the fifth consecutive quarter with a 16 percent share on 34 percent growth. By technology on a revenue basis, it was No. 1 in LCDs, No. 2 in MD RPTVs and PDPs and No.3 in CRTs, according to DisplaySearch. Samsung also remained No. 1 in HD (720p/1080i) units and revenues.

LGE was the No. 2 global TV brand on a unit basis for the third consecutive quarter and rose from No. 4 to No. 3 on a revenue basis. By technology, LGE was No. 1 in global CRTs in units and revenues, was No. 2 in PDPs on a unit basis and No. 3 in revenues, and was No. 5 in units and revenues in LCD TVs, DisplaySearch said.

Sony remained No. 1 in global 1080p TV units and revenues. It was also No. 1 in global MD RPTV units and revenues and was No. 2 in LCD TV units and revenues, slightly behind Samsung on a revenue basis. By region on a revenue basis, Sony was in the top five in every region excluding China:

LCD TVs were the only technology to enjoy year to year revenue growth in the first quarter of 2007, up 54 percent to $13.6 billion because 98 percent year to year unit growth to 14.5 million units more than offset the 22 percent average selling price declines, DisplaySearch said.

LCD TVs rose to 32 percent of the global TV market on a unit basis and 57 percent on a revenue basis. North American. LCD TV sales widened their advantage over plasma at 40-44 inches from 52 percent vs. 46 percent in the fourth quarter of 2006 to 58 percent vs. 41 percent in the first quarter of 2007, with RPTVs accounting for the remainder, according to DisplaySearch.

In the 50-54 inch segment, the LCD TV share rose from 7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2006 to 12 percent in the first quarter of 2007 on 41 percent quarter to quarter growth.

In addition, LCD TVs accounted for a majority of all TVs sold at 40 inches and larger for the first time in first quarter at 50.2 percent, up from just 17 percent in the first quarter of 2006. The average LCD TV diagonal rose from 29.9 inches to 30.7 inches with 40 inches and larger LCD TVs at 19 inches of total LCD TV shipments, up from 7 percent in the first quarter of 2006 and 17 percent in the fourth quarter of 2006.

In 1080p resolution, LCD TVs were 9 percent of total LCD TV units and 35 percent of all 40 inch-plus LCD TVs.

By LCD TV brand, Samsung reclaimed the top position on a revenue basis on 92 percent year-to-year growth to earn a 17.4 percent share, edging Sony with a 17.1 percent share on 74 percent growth. Samsung had a larger edge on a unit basis at 16.2 percent to 11.9 percent with Sharp close behind at 11.8 percent. On a unit basis, Samsung led in Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe, North America and Western Europe, while LGE led in Latin America and Middle East/Africa, and Sharp led in Japan.

DisplaySearch said first quarter world wide sales revenue for plasma TVs declined 28 percent quarter to quarter and 9 percent year to year to $3.6 billion, while units fell 24 percent quarter to quarter but rose 37 percent year to year to 2.3 million TVs, benefiting from inventory at brands at the beginning of the quarter as plasma panel shipments were flat year to year.

By screen size, 40-44 inch plasma TVs fell further behind LCDs, while share in the 50-54 inch segment rose from 55 percent in the fourth quarter of 2006 to 59 percent in the first quarter of 2007. At the same time, rear-projection TV share fell from 38 percent to 30 percent.

Plasma TVs also led in the 50 inch and larger TV market with a 48 percent share, up from 42 percent in the fourth quarter last year. Rear-projection TVs fell from 42 percent to 35 percent. The 42-inch segment remained the leading plasma size with a 65 percent share, down from 68 percent in the fourth quarter of 2006, while share in the 50-inch-plus segment grew from 23 percent in the fourth quarter of 2006 to 27 percent in the first quarter of 2007.

North America remained the largest region for plasma TVs with a 36 percent share followed by Western Europe at 29 percent.

Plasma TVs with 1080p resolution remain less than 1 percent of the plasma TV market; Display Search said. However, they are expected to surge in second quarter of 2007 on Panasonic’s competitively priced 50-inch offering.

Panasonic remained the market leader in first quarter of 2007 with a 29 percent unit share. Panasonic ranked No. 1 in China, Eastern Europe, Japan, North America and Western Europe, while LGE led in Asia Pacific, Latin America and Middle East/Africa. LGE was No. 2 on a unit basis, and Samsung was No. 2 on a revenue basis.

Microdisplay (MD) RPTV unit shipments fell 39 percent quarter to quarter and 13 percent year to year to 524,000 units, while revenue fell 42 percent quarter to quarter and 38 percent year to year to $0.9 billion on 4 percent quarter to quarter and 28 percent year to year average selling price declines.

Despite this, DisplaySearch said the average diagonal screen size for MD RPTVs rose from 53 inches in the fourth quarter of 2006 to 54 inches in the first quarter of 2007, and the share of MD RPTVs with 1080p resolution rose from 45 percent in the fourth quarter of 2006 to 50 percent in the first quarter or 2007.

Global DLP micro display models lead the market in unit sales and dollars for the first time, at 52 percent and 54 percent, respectively. North America continued to dominate MD RPTV demand, with an 89 percent share of revenues followed by the Asia Pacific region at 5 percent.

The 55-59 inch and 60-inch-plus screen size segments each gained share from smaller sizes and combined to earn a 53 percent share of first quarter 2007 shipments, up from 31 percent in the first quarter of 2006, DisplaySearch said.

By brand, Sony remained No. 1 with a 38 percent unit share followed by Samsung at 26 percent and Mitsubishi at 14 percent. By region, Sony led in North America.

Global CRT TV unit shipments declined 21 percent quarter to quarter and 17 percent year to year to 28 million units and a 62 percent share of total TV shipments. CRT TV revenues were down 17 percent quarter to quarter and 22 percent year to year to $6 billion and a 24 percent share.

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