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TV Sales Surge Despite Economy: DisplaySearch

Austin, Texas — TV shipments for North America hit record growth levels in the second quarter, despite a weaker U.S. economy, said DisplaySearch.

TV shipments rose 28 percent compared to the same quarter last year to more than 9.3 million units, according to preliminary DisplaySearch findings, marking the strongest quarterly results since the research firm began tracking TV shipments in 2004, it said.

Samsung was the leading brand for the quarter, with a record share of approximately19 percent of all TV unit shipments in North America, and Sony took the No. 2 spot. Vizio also saw strong gains in PDP market share, ranking it the No. 3 supplier in total TV shipments, said DisplaySearch.

LCD and plasma TV technologies both had strong sequential gains over the first quarter this year of 30 percent and 35 percent, respectively, with PDP growth influenced by strong initial shipments of Vizio’s 32-inch HD PDPs and LCD growth also very strong at 32 inches, said the research firm.

LCD TV shipments rose a stronger-than-expected 52 percent over the second quarter last year, to nearly 7.5 million units. Much of the growth came from small- to midrange screen sizes, such as 19-inch, 22-inch and 32-inch models, where price points are lower and easier on family budgets.

PDP shipments surged 34 percent over the period last year, with Vizio 32-inch HD shipments rising to almost 13 percent of all PDP shipments for the quarter. Shipments of PDPs measuring 42 inches also rose by 82 percent sequentially over the first quarter, but 50-inch PDP shipments were flat sequentially due to competition from LCD in the larger screen sizes.

Overall, LCD TV gained its highest share to date, rising from 77.5 percent to 79.8 percent unit share, during the period.

Samsung continued its leading LCD TV share, climbing from 13.5 percent to 18.3 percent, as its shipments rose 76 percent sequentially over the first quarter. Samsung also overtook Sony for the top LCD TV unit share of the 40-inches-plus category.

While retaining its No. 2 post in LCD TV, Sony’s share dropped from 13.4 percent to 11.7 percent. Sony gained share in the 32-inch category but lost share in the 40-inch-plus space to Samsung. Still, Sony rose from the No. 3 to No. 2 leader in total TV shipments.

Panasonic was still the North American market leader in PDP TV, at 31.2 percent, down from 35 percent in the first quarter, as both Samsung and Vizio posted strong share gains. Panasonic led 50-inch shipments by a large margin, while barely edging out Samsung in 42-inches. The company also easily led all other brands in 1080p PDP shipments.

Vizio moved up to the No. 2 post in PDP, overtaking Samsung and doubling its share to 25.1 percent on its 32-inch HD PDP shipments. In LCD TV, Vizio fell from the No. three ranked supplier to No. 5 at 7.5 percent unit share, due to intense price competition from top brands, said Display Research. More extensive Q2 2008 results can be seen in the following tables:

Table 1: Preliminary Q1’08 – Q2’08 NA Flat Panel TV Unit Share and Growth

Table 2: Preliminary Q1’08 – Q2’08 NA LCD TV Unit Share and Growth

Table 3: Preliminary Q1’08 – Q2’08 NA Plasma TV Unit Share and Growth