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Global Flat-Panel TV Sales Decline For 2nd Straight Month

EL SEGUNDO, CALIF. — In a sign that the global flatpanel TV market likely will not see growth in 2013, a new study from IHS said shipments of flat-panel televisions fell for the second month in row in July on a worldwide basis compared with the same period year ago.

The combined global shipments in July of LCD and plasma TVs amounted to 14.88 million units, down 6.3 percent from July 2012, according to the “Monthly Worldwide FPD TV Shipment Data Report” from the TV Systems Intelligence Service at IHS.

LCD TVs, which account for the bulk of the global flatpanel TV space, posted a 5.7 percent year-on-year decline based on shipments of 14.1 million units.

Plasma TVs, making up the remainder of the flat-panel TV market with shipments of 781,000, contracted 15.8 percent from the same time last year.

IHS said the downturn in July “was a repeat of what had happened in June, and the downward trend is unlikely to turn around soon given the ongoing reduction in demand.”

Companies remain conservative in their outlook for the next few months until the end of the year when shipments are expected to bounce back, in line with the traditional sales bump anticipated during the holiday season, the firm said.

Overall, IHS continued, monthly shipments will continue to be smaller than their comparable months in 2012 until October, a development with ominous undertones.

“Last year was the first time that global flat-panel TV shipments failed to grow, following a decade of blockbuster expansion and runaway success,” said Jusy Hong, consumer electronics and technology senior analyst at IHS. “This year as recently as May, it appeared that the flat-panel TV market might pull off a rebound even if growth would have been marginal at less than 1 percent. However, with any increase unlikely to take place even in the fourth quarter, it appears more likely that TV shipments will post another year of decline in 2013. If so, this would make it the second year in a row that flat-panel TV shipments retrench — an unthinkable prospect just a few years back, during the flat-panel boom.”