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Quixel: ’08 LCD Revenue Rose As PDP Fell

Portland, Ore. — Full-year 2008 flat-panel TV sales saw a 14 percent rise in LCD TV factory dollar value and a 24 percent decrease in plasma revenues, according to new reports from Quixel Research.

The research firm’s new LCD TV Market Review stated LCD TV sales reached $22.7 billion during 2008, following a 12 percent decline to $6.3 billion in fourth-quarter revenue, compared with the same period in 2007. However, sales in the period were up 7 percent over the prior quarter.

“The LCD TV category saw another fantastic year of growth in 2008, with double-digit increases in both dollars and units,” stated Tamaryn Pratt, Quixel Research’s Principal. “However, rapid average selling price (ASP) declines in all screen sizes pushed year-to-year values down 12 percent, foreshadowing a tough future as far as LCD TV revenues are concerned.”

In the large-screen LCD TV segments, the 40- to 42-inch screen sizes saw the strongest fourth-quarter 2008 unit sales growth quarter-to-quarter, up almost 40 percent. However, it was the 52-inch and 55-inch-plus segments that saw the most unit growth from 2007 to 2008, or up 160 percent and 302 percent, respectively, Quixel said.

Sales of 1080p LCD TVs captured 35 percent of the overall market in units and 61 percent in value for 2008, Quixel said. In the large-screen-size segments, 1080p sales accounted for 90 percent of the unit sales.

At the high end of the market, Quixel said LCD TVs with LED backlighting did well in shipping more than 100,000 units in 2008.

Meanwhile, a separate plasma market review from the firm found that plasma TV dollar volume plummeted 33 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008 to $1.2 billion from $1.8 billion in the year-ago period, as unit volume rose 2 percent from the fourth quarter of 2007. Full year 2008 dollar volume for plasma dropped 24 percent to $4.3 billion from $5.7 billion a year earlier, as unit volume rose 2 percent from a year ago.

In explaining the factory dollar volume decline, Quixel pointed out consumers opted for lower-priced models in the category, as illustrated by strong sales of 720p products. However, sales were healthy enough to support an overall unit increase for the category in 2008.

“There is no question that plasma 1080p sales are on the rise, but the fact of the matter is that 720p plasma TVs comprised 70 percent of the overall category in Q4 2008 and 71 percent in 2008,” said Pratt. “The 42-inch and 50-inch 720p models offered an outstanding value for consumers who didn’t necessarily need or care about owning a 1080p product. To a certain degree, these products are ideal for these tough economic times.”

The 50-inch 720p segment showed the strongest increase in sales during Q4, gaining 6 percent share of the overall plasma TV category; while the 50-inch 1080p segment saw a share decline for the fourth quarter but a 16 percent increase for 2008 overall.