Austin, Texas — Plasma panel shipments in the first quarter of 2008 fell 19 percent from a record fourth quarter 2007 on normal seasonal weakness to 3.5 million units, according to a DisplaySearch’s quarterly global TV shipment and forecast report.
At the same time, The NPD Group company reported units were up a strong 53 percent year-to-year due to strong growth of 32-inch panels, Matsushita’s delivery of the first 46-inch 1080p panels, and the continued price advantage of 42-inch PDPs over comparable LCD TVs.
The research firm said that 32-inch plasma panel shipments rose from 11 percent to 15 percent during the first quarter, as LCD supplies in the screen size remained tight and demand for more affordable products rose in developing countries.
Meanwhile, plasma continued to ride a $114 average price advantage in 42-inch (including power supply and optical filter) over comparable LCD pricing (including power supply) in March. The price difference will narrow by the end of the year, DisplaySearch forecasted.
The firm said that “1080p PDP panels were nearly absent from the market in Q1 ’08, but now account for 11 percent of panel shipments.”
“Price declines slowed for PDP panels in Q1 ’08, with prices falling 6 percent quarter-to-quarter and 31 percent year-to-year to an average of $403 as compared to double-digit average selling price (ASP) declines in the first half of 2007. The 42-inch class ASPs only fell by 1-2 percent quarter-to-quarter while 50 inch-plus prices fell much faster, by as much as 10 percent quarter-to-quarter for 55-59 inch 1080p panels, while 50-inch panels fell 4-7 percent,” said Paul Gagnon, DisplaySearch North America TV research director.
DisplaySearch said Matsushita fell from No. 1 to No. 3 as a plasma panel supplier in the first quarter of 2008, which was the first time the company has not been the top supplier in the category since the third quarter of 2006.
Meanwhile, LG Electronic’s share of plasma panel sales “surged more than 6 points to 34.8 percent on 97 percent year-to-year growth. As the only supplier, LG is riding on the growth of 32-inch panels,” DisplaySearch said. “Samsung SDI moved up a spot to No. 2 for the first time with a 30.5 percent unit share on 95 percent year-to-year growth, largely from 42-inch shipments.”
The research firm said Matsushita fell by 10 share points to 27 percent of shipments despite initial shipments of 46-inch 1080p panels. Hitachi and Pioneer had the only negative year-to-year growth, falling by 35 percent and 34 percent, respectively.