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Study: LCD Takes PDP Q4 Share

Austin, Texas — Quarter-to-quarter global sales revenue for LCD TVs surpassed that of plasma TVs for the first time in 2006, following strong fourth-quarter sales in the 40-inc to 46-inch screen size segment, according to a report just released from market research firm DisplaySearch.

Meanwhile, Sony took the top revenue spot in worldwide LCD TV sales, while Samsung took top unit sales market share for the category. Samsung was also the top unit sales and revenue earner in overall television sales, worldwide, during the fourth quarter, the report states.

In other categories, Panasonic was the dominant brand in global plasma TV unit sales and revenue during the period and Sony took the top microdisplay rear-projection TV brand share honors for units and revenue, worldwide, in the fourth quarter.

The DisplaySearch fourth-quarter 2006 TV shipment report and forecast tracked 53 different TV brands.

Overall global TV unit shipments grew 26 percent quarter-to-quarter in the seasonally strong fourth quarter while declining 1 percent year-to-year to 57.6 million, Display Search said. North America registered the highest year-over-year overall TV unit growth, which DisplaySearch attributed to “excessive sell-in during the third quarter leading to rapid price declines in large-sized flat-panel TVs.”

According to the report, LCD TV was the only technology to enjoy year-over-year revenue growth worldwide in the period, up 72 percent, as 117 percent LCD unit growth offset the 21 percent average selling price declines.

LCD TV shipments reached a record high 18.6 million units, worldwide, and a 32 percent share of the overall television market in the fourth quarter, DisplaySearch said. For the year, LCD TVs rose 119 percent to 46.4 million units and a 24 percent share, up from 11 percent in 2005. On a revenue basis, LCD TVs led with a 49 percent share, up from 32 percent in 2005.

The report said that LCD TV revenue surpassed CRT TV revenue in North America for the first time in the fourth quarter of 2006.

LCD TVs rose from 4 percent unit share worldwide in the third quarter to 7 percent unit share in fourth quarter, earning a 9 percent share in North America. Also, worldwide 1,080p LCD TV sales overtook 720p LCD TVs on a unit basis in the 46-inch to 47-inch segment in the period and reached a 30 percent revenue share at 40 inches to 44 inches.

Sony widened its revenue share advantage over Samsung in the 40-44 inch segment worldwide, DisplaySearch said, by accounting for more than a 50 percent share in 40-42 inch 1,080p models. While Samsung fell to No. 2 in LCD TV revenues, Sharp, Philips and LGE remained Nos. 3, 4 and 5 respectively with only Philips gaining share.

For the year, Sony led in worldwide LCD TV revenues for the first time with a 16 percent share, followed by Samsung at 15 percent and Sharp at 11.5 percent.

“2006 was the first year Sharp had not been No. 1 in LCD TV revenues,” DisplaySearch said.

On a global LCD TV unit basis in the quarter, Samsung ranked No. 1 with a 14 percent share followed by Philips at 13 percent, Sony at 12 percent, Sharp at 10 percent and LGE at 7 percent, DisplaySearch said.

For the year, Samsung led with a 13.4 percent share followed by Philips at 13.0 percent, Sony at 11.6 percent, Sharp at 11.3 percent and LGE at 7 percent.

In the plasma TV segments, DisplaySearch said worldwide revenues were up 7 percent in the fourth quarter over the prior quarter, but fell 4 percent over the same period last year to $5 billion. It marked the first quarter that plasma TV revenues have declined year to year. The result was attributed to a loss of share to LCDs in the 40-inch to 44-inch segment and rapid price erosion, DisplaySearch said.

However, plasma over took microdisplay rear-projection TVs for the first in the 50W-inch plus segment in the fourth quarter of 2006 with a 42.5 percent to 42.3 percent advantage.

In the 50-inch to 54-inch segment, plasma held 55 percent share, up 34 percent from the third quarter and up 35 percent from the fourth quarter of 2005 at 3.1 million units, worldwide. Share of the 50-inch-plus segment grew total plasma TV shipments from 13 percent in the fourth quarter of 2005, to 23 percent in the fourth quarter of 2006. However, the growth was insufficient to offset the aggressive price declines, DisplaySearch said.

The average selling price for a plasma TV fell 20 percent from the third quarter, and 29 percent from the same period last year, to $1,643.

For the year, plasma TV shipments rose 57 percent to 9.2 million units worldwide, while plasma TV revenues grew 22 percent to $18.5 billion on a 22 percent decline in average selling price. In fourth quarter, 60-inch plus plasma TVs had the highest year to year growth on strong North American demand.

North America remained the top region for plasma sales with a 38 percent share and accounted for 63 percent of all plasma TV shipments in the 50-inch-plus segment.

DisplaySearch said that on a worldwide basis, “Panasonic remained the dominant brand in Q4 2006 with a 32 percent unit and 33 percent revenue share. On both unit and revenue shares, LGE remained No. 2 followed by Samsung, Philips, Hitachi and Pioneer. For the year, Panasonic led with a 29 percent revenue share followed by LGE at 16 percent, Samsung at 14 percent, Philips at 10 percent, Hitachi at 8 percent and Pioneer at 7 percent.”

In microdisplay rear-projection, unit shipments rose 17 percent quarter to quarter, while falling 9 percent year-to-year to 862,000 units, worldwide in the quarter. Share of the 55-inch-plus market rose from 70 percent in third quarter of 2006, to 77 percent in the fourth quarter. For the year, microdisplays were up 13 percent year-to-year at 2.8 million units, worldwide.

Over the year, microdisplay global revenues declined 34 percent year-to-year as the average selling price dipped 28 percent to $1,757, “despite a shift in size and resolution towards larger sizes and 1,080p resolution,” DisplaySearch said.

For the year, microdisplay revenues were down 7 percent on an 18 percent decline in average selling price.

In the fourth quarter, 59 percent of microdisplay revenues were at 1,080p vs. just 25 percent in year-ago period and 58 percent of MD RPTV revenues were at 55-inch-plus, compared with 41 percent a year earlier.

By technology, DLP continued to lead in both global unit and revenue share and held a 43 percent share for the year. LCoS matched the 3LCD revenue share in the fourth quarter as 3LCD unit shipments were down 34 percent year to year.

North America continued to dominate the MD RPTV market, earning an 89 percent revenue share, down from 93 percent in the third quarter as Europe and the rest of the world gained share.

By brand, Sony widened its revenue share advantage, earning a 42 percent global share in the period followed by Samsung at 25 percent and Mitsubishi at 11 percent.

For the year, Sony led with a 40 percent share, followed by Samsung at 22 percent and Mitsubishi at 12 percent.

In direct-view CRT TV, global shipments rose 11 percent quarter-to-quarter while declining 24 percent year-to-year to 34.9 million. CRT revenues were up 6 percent quarter-to-quarter and down 23 percent year-to-year on a 4 percent quarterly decrease in average selling price and a 1 percent decline year to year for the period.

For the year, global CRT sales were down 16 percent to 130 million units with revenues down 15 percent to $26.5 billion. The CRT unit share fell from 83 percent, to 69 percent, while revenues fell from 39 percent, to 26 percent, DisplaySearch said.

The digital share of the CRT TV market rose from 12 percent in third quarter of 2006 to 13 percent in fourth quarter. The HD share remained flat at 2 percent.

In global CRT sales, TTE maintained the top position on a unit basis with a 12 percent share followed by LGE and Samsung at 10 percent. TTE also maintained the top position on a revenue basis with a 12 percent share followed by Samsung at 11 percent. TTE also held the top unit and revenue positions for all of 2006, DisplaySearch said.