Santa Clara, Calif. - A new global TV replacement study from DisplaySearch found that households in developed countries own 28 percent more TVs on average than households in emerging countries.
However, the study also showed that in most countries the number of TVs per household is greater for flat-panel TVs than for other display devices.
"In fact, the tendency for flat panel TV adopters to own more TVs was even stronger in emerging markets, indicating a stronger separation of buying power among upper and lower income classes," DisplaySearch said.
"Whether a consumer resides in an economically developed or emerging country, those who are willing to adopt new TV technologies possess greater interest in owning TVs in general, have higher incomes, and can afford more TVs, or both," stated Paul Gagnon, DisplaySearch North America TV market research director.
Owners of at least one flat panel TV in developed countries owned 30 percent more TVs per household than households that didn't own any flat panel TVs, he added.
In emerging countries, the difference was even higher on average, with flat panel owners having 37 percent more TVs than non-flat panel owners.
The DisplaySearch Global TV Replacement Study listed the U.S., UK, Japan, Italy, France, and Germany as developed countries; and China (urban and rural), India, Brazil, Mexico, Turkey, Russia, and Indonesia as emerging countries.
"When looking at the number of TVs per household, the U.S. has the highest number, while India has the fewest, as one might expect from a country with fewer households able to afford a TV," Gagnon said. "Despite this, some countries have a higher number of TV sets per household than might be expected, like Mexico, which ranked fourth among the countries studied."
When considering the higher number of people per household, however, around 3.8 persons per household on average compared with 2.9 on average in the United States, the average number of TVs per person in Mexico drops towards the middle of the pack among countries in the study, according to DisplaySearch.
"When looking at the distribution of average number of TVs per person among the countries in the study, the top six were developed countries, with the emerging countries in the bottom eight," said Gagnon. "This shows a fairly linear relationship with socio-economic status, with India and rural China accounting for the fewest number of TVs per person."
The U.K. and Japan were the most active countries in replacing TVs over the last three years. European countries have been active in general as well, with the end of analog TV broadcasts coming soon, necessitating the upgrades to a digital tuner equipped TVs.
However, some emerging countries, like Indonesia and urban China, have also been very active in replacing TV sets.
Since these countries generally have less history of TV purchasing in general, the average age of TVs overall is lower than in very mature TV markets, like the US, so any replaced TV is likely to be younger.
On the other hand, countries like India and rural China, which are very different in terms of TV ownership profiles and replacement behaviors than urban China, have a very low level of replacement activity. This reflects a lower level of household income, as well as a tendency to be more frugal TV owners, preferring to hang on to TVs until failure, which can be a very long time.
The report is available for all 14 markets or by individual market including the following:
China - Urban; China - Rural; India; Indonesia; Japan; U.K.; France; Turkey; Germany; Italy; Brazil; U.S.; Mexico; and Russia.
The study was based on nationally representative samples of more than 14,000 TV owners, and is available by contacting