Santa Clara, Calif. — Despite a 7 percent dip in global TV shipments from a year ago, North American retail sales have been steady, with unit shipments rising almost 3 percent in the third quarter of 2012, after posting small declines for the first half or the year, an NPD DisplaySearch third-quarter global TV sales report revealed.
The market trend in the U.S. has shifted toward bigger and cheaper TVs in recent months and is expected to continue through Black Friday this year.
“Procurement typically peaks at the end of Q3 for the upcoming holiday shopping season in the US. Since many retailers are focusing on big opening sales during Black Friday and promotions during pre-Black Friday, inventory has been building overtime to a level that will satisfy the demand,” said Paul Gagnon, global TV research director for NPD DisplaySearch. “Based on the early promotional prices released ahead of Black Friday, retailers seem quite aggressive in starting the holiday season strong for TV sales.”
Worldwide TV shipments fell from a year ago for the fourth straight quarter, with demand in Japan and Western Europe falling sharply.
TV shipments in Japan were down more than 70 percent year to year for the second quarter in a row, while Western Europe shipments fell more than 15 percent.
Flat-panel TV growth in emerging regions were lower than expected, especially in Asia Pacific, where the Indian TV market will decline in Q3 2012, due to little retail set price erosion.
TV shipments in China grew more than 13 percent year to year in Q3 2012 as set makers anticipated demand for TVs during the Golden Week holidays in October, DisplaySearch said.
Growth was also helped by a new energy efficiency rebate program that started in June.
Both factors led Chinese TV makers to increase production, DisplaySearch said.
As plasma TV shipments continue to decline, LCD remains the dominant flat-panel TV technology, capturing a 16 percent quarter-to-quarter increase in unit shipments.
However, overall LCD TV unit sales fell 1 percent year to year in Q3 2012. This marks three straight quarters of annual year-to-year shipment declines.
Overall worldwide TV demand continued to fall in 2012, impacting LCD shipments.
LED LCD TV shipments continue to climb, exceeding 70 percent of units and 80 percent of revenues for total global TV shipments.
North America had the lowest LED and 3D shipment penetration of any region worldwide since consumers are most interested in screen size and price, according to DisplaySearch.
Large screen sizes also continued a record size pace, with the average shipped TV size increasing more than 6 percent to 35.8 inches.
Both Samsung and LGE increased global flat-panel TV revenues year to year by 3 percent and 1 percent, respectively, remaining the top two brands overall.
Samsung’s share was dipped slightly from Q2’12, but remained more than 10 percent higher than LGE’s share.
The top three Japanese brands saw revenues decline at a double-digit pace from last year, although Sharp saw a strong revenue share boost to share from Q2 2012 to Q3 2012, DisplaySearch said.
The Chinese brands captured a lot of market share in Q3 2012 due to the seasonal brand shift to China ahead of the Golden Week holidays.
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