Newport Beach, Calif. — U.S. shipments of LED LCD TVs increased 29 percent quarter to quarter in the fourth quarter of 2012, while rising 2 percent to 32 million units for full-year 2012, according to the “LCD Market Review” issued by Quixel Research Wednesday.
The study also found that big-screen TV unit shipments and factory revenue increased dramatically in the fourth quarter from the same period in 2011, as 50-inch and larger sets saw double-digit unit share advances, growing from 11 percent to 24 percent from Q4 2011 to Q4 2012.
The 50-inch and larger LED LCD TV segments will continue to fuel the category, with the big-screen segment projected to capture 60 percent of the overall category by 2016, up from a projected 30 percent in 2013, said Tamaryn Pratt, Quixel principal.
LED LCD TV revenues topped $5.5 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012 for a 34 percent increase quarter to quarter, but declined 3 percent (or $17 million) for the full calendar year 2012.
Quixel forecasts the overall LED-LCD TV category to see low single-digit unit shipment growth for the next four years.
“Consumers’ love affair for big-screen TVs was reignited in 2012,” Pratt said. “The combination of wide availably and knockout prices catapulted sales of 50- and 60-inch models. Unit share of the 50-inch and larger size segments grew from 11 percent to 24 percent from Q4 2011 to Q4 2012. Amazingly, the overall top selling LCDTV for Q4 2012 was a 60-inch model — a first for volume.”
The model, which Pratt declined to name for general release, may make manufacturers reassess their pricing strategies, she added.
“Usually a 32-inch model leads the market in volume, but the outlandishly low price drove this 60-inch model to the top of the market. This was a real market inflection and has proven directional for the future,” she added.
For the rest of the market, Pratt said that helping to boost sales is the start of the “upgrade cycle,” where consumers are replacing first-generation digital TVs that are wearing out or are no longer compatible with more modern technologies.
“Many households are starting to replace their first flat TV and now have options that are dramatically different,” Pratt said. “In some cases consumers can buy a TV almost 20 inches bigger at one-third the price. Over the 2012 holiday season name-brand 60-inch prices fell below $700 and on average were $1,000, or far less than a 42-inch flat TV in 2005, which was over $3,000.”