Analysts: Q2 TV Sales Performances Vary

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- Second-quarter demand for flat-panel TV shipments slowed for some smaller-screen TV segments but showed signs of growth in key 40-inch and larger sizes, according to reports from Quixel Research, The NPD Group and iSuppli.

Overall, the factory unit sales of the LCD TV category increased 16 percent from Q1 2010 to Q2 2010 but posted a 5 percent decline from Q2 2009 to Q2 2010, according to Quixel Research.

The LCD TV dollars volume was also up Q1 2010 to Q2 2010, topping $4.5 billion, compared with $4.1 billion in Q1 2010.

But Quixel said its outlook TV sales for full year 2010 and beyond is still strong, with forecasts showing growth through 2013.

Quixel Research, said price conscious consumers gravitated large area displays, particularly value 40- and 42-inch plasma and LCD TV models.

Unit sales of large area displays measuring 40 to 46 inches grew 30 percent from Q1 2010 to Q2 2010, which was more than double any other screen-size segment for the period, Quixel said.

Year-to-year volumes for the segment were up 9 percent.

Quixel said consumers found greater value in basic feature sets at the smaller end of the large-area-display segment, although the firm also reported a significant increase in LCD TV models with step-up LED backlighting and built-in Internet capabilities.

The 40- and 42-inch flat-TV sales supported a 6-point unit share gain for the 40-inch to 46-inch segment quarter to quarter, accounting for almost half of the total large-area-display segment, Quixel found.

Plasma TV sales supported the overall 40- to 42-inch results offering strong value, particularly for 720p HD models.

Unit volume of 720p plasma TVs was up 79 percent quarter to quarter and up 25 percent year to year.

For LCD, 40- to 42-inch models accounted for 50 percent of the Q2 LCD TV category in units for a share gain of 6 points. Lower-refresh-rate CCFL models and new entry LED-LCD TV models accounted for most of the volume growth quarter to quarter, Quixel said.

Meanwhile, sales of LED-based LCD TVs accounted for most of the category growth in the second quarter of 2010, according to the firm.

Volumes for the LED segment rose 105 percent from Q1 2010 to Q2 2010, and 875 percent from Q2 2009 to Q2 2010. Comparatively, CCFLbased LCD TVs were up only 3 percent from Q1 2010 to Q2 2010, and they declined 25 percent from Q2 2009 to Q2 2010, according to Quixel.

The NPD Group said TV sales to consumers of smaller-screen TVs slowed in June as shoppers hesitated to buy while exploring bigger-screen models.

The firm said June sales of 19- to 37-inch flatpanel TVs in the U.S. dropped 21 percent year over year, which was attributed in part to the so-called analog TV cutoff last year, which made sales artificially high, particularly for smaller-screen products.

Hardest hit in June were the 19- and 26-inch LCD TV sizes, which registered declines of 49 percent and 38 percent, respectively, NPD said.

Meanwhile, sales of larger-screen TVs showed signs of growth as consumer interest rose for models with Internet connections, LED backlighting and 3D capability, according to NPD.

Sales of flat-panel TVs 40 to 65 inches grew 26 percent in June compared with the prior year. Some of the strongest growth came from the larger screen sizes as consumers traded up. The 55-, 60-, 63- and 65-inch flat panels all experienced triple- digit growth for the month, according to NPD.

Large declines in average prices contributed to the growth in sales of the 42-, 46-, 50- and 58- inch flat-panel TV screen sizes, NPD said of the June period.

In July, prices of LCD sets rose on the introduction of new, more advanced models and reduced promotional price-cutting for older goods, according to an iSuppli display market report.

The average retail price in July for an LCD TV in the United States was $1,136, up 7.2 percent from $1,060 in June, the highest rate of increase in at least a year, iSuppli said.

The price also was up 2.8 percent from $1,104 in July 2009.

Riddhi Patel, iSuppli television systems director, said more than 20 new LCD models were added in the month to each of the size ranges, with the majority of the models adding advanced feature sets and higher price points. As a result, sellers held back from cutting prices on older goods, which were already well below the newer goods.

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