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Report: Slower Q3 Stacks Up TV Inventory


The pace of global TV shipment
growth slowed to 9 percent year over year in the third
quarter of 2010, after months of 20 percent-plus gains, according
to the recently released DisplaySearch Quarterly
Advanced Global TV Shipment and Forecast Report.

Global shipments of 59.8 million were a little better than
expected in the period, “but it was apparent by the end of
the quarter that continued sell-through weakness in North
America and softer sell-through of TVs during the World
Cup in Western Europe have led to increased finished TV
set inventory,” the market research firm stated.

In the period, North America returned to positive yearto-
year LCD shipment growth after a small decline in the
previous quarter, although at 3 percent, the increase was
not strong, DisplaySearch observed.

Most TV technologies saw positive year-to-year growth
in the period. Global plasma TV shipments were up by 35
percent year to year to more than 4.8 million units. LCD TV
shipments also posted positive growth, rising 22 percent
year to year to 45.7 million units.

DLP rear-projection TVs, which are sold only in North
America, posted positive annual growth in the third quarter
of 2010 as consumers concentrate on value during the
slow economic recovery.

LCD TV panel prices remained steady during the first
half of the year, which translated to relatively stable retail
prices, at the same time shipments of higher-priced LEDbacklit
models increased.

Plasma TVs enjoyed an increasing price advantage this
year at comparable sizes. This resulted in 39 percent yearto-
year plasma TV unit growth in North America during the
first three quarters of 2010, while 40-inch and larger LCD
TV units have risen just 16 percent during the same time
period, DisplaySearch said.

Still, it was the weakest quarter of annual shipment
growth since the fourth quarter of 2008, when the global
economic downturn first began to impact global TV
spending, according to the report.

“Consumers are clearly focusing on value right now,
which is one of the reasons why plasma TV growth has
been so strong this year after a 1.5 percent global shipment
decline in 2009,” stated Hisakazu Torii, Display-
Search TV research president.

LED backlit panels continued to gain share in LCD TV

After more than doubling in the second quarter, the
share of LED LCD TV shipments increased just 5 percentage points, to 23 percent, in the third quarter, impacted
to a degree by the significant price premium
over CCFL models during the economic malaise.

In North America, the LED share stopped growing during
the third quarter, remaining at 21 percent, according
to the report. However, the price premium for LED-backlit
LCD TV panels is falling quickly, which should help to shave the price gap in the fourth quarter.

DisplaySearch said that on a global basis the
marketshare rankings of the top five flat-panel
TV brands remained unchanged in the quarter,
with Samsung ranking No. 1 overall, behind a
top position in LCD and a No. 2 rank in plasma.

Samsung was No. 1 by revenue in every region
except China, where domestic brands prevailed.

Samsung fell to No. 2 in LCD TVs on a unit
basis in North America where surging shipments
lifted Vizio into the No. 1 position.

Samsung’s global TV market share, on a revenue
basis, fell about 3 percentage points in
the third quarter to 21.3 percent, mainly as a
result of share growth by competitors outside
the top four.

LG was the No. 2 brand worldwide at 14 percent,
down a point from the second quarter 2010.

LGE was No. 3 in both LCD and plasma TV
revenues, DisplaySearch revealed.

Sony rounded out the top three brands in
global flat-panel TV revenues during the period,
also falling by a percentage point to 11.3 percent,
but posting stronger year-to-year revenue
growth than either LGE or Samsung.

Only Sharp had stronger annual TV revenue
growth, based on strong growth in Japan, where
Sharp is No. 1. Panasonic was the No. 1 plasma
TV brand and No. 4 flat-panel brand overall.