Global TV shipments saw their steepest decline in a quarter since Q2 2009, when worldwide demand slumped amid the global recession, according to research from IHS.
Shipments declined 8 percent, year over year, to 48 million units in the second quarter of 2015, after a year of quarterly year-over-year growth in 2014.
Most of the overall decline is attributed to slowing growth in LCD TVs, which now account for 99 percent of all television shipments. LCD TV sales have not made up for the lost volume of CRT and plasma TVs, which have largely left the marketplace.
4K TV, however, was a bright spot in the global TV market, with unit shipments growing 197 percent year over year in Q2 2015, to reach 6.2 million units. The growth in 4K TVs is the direct result of increased price erosion and more affordable tiers of 4K models becoming available, IHS said.
“2014 was a robust year for growth, with total TV shipments rising 3 percent worldwide, and developed regions growing more than 6 percent,” said Paul Gagnon, director of TV research for IHS. “This year, however, TV demand is being negatively affected by the current global economic slowdown, particularly the rise in currency prices against the U.S. dollar, which has caused retail prices to increase in emerging markets.”
According to the latest TV Sets Market Tracker from IHS, while the downturn in shipments was felt in Western Europe and Japan, the decline was most pronounced in the emerging regions of Latin America, Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Although North American demand returned to positive in Q2 2015, Western European shipments fell unexpectedly, leading to a 3 percent reduction in overall shipments to developed regions.
China, considered to be an emerging market, exhibited growth in shipments in the first half of 2015, but that momentum is slowing.
Looking at larger emerging markets outside of China, the decline in shipments this year has been very pronounced, despite a government subsidy program in Mexico that added more than 2 million units in the first half of the year.
TV shipments in Latin America declined 17 percent year over year in Q2, with a significant amount of weakness out of Brazil, while Asia-Pacific shipments fell more than 9 percent.
“Many global brands are shifting to a weaker outlook for the balance of the year, as a result of the broad decline in demand worldwide,” Gagnon said.
The top five brands collectively comprised 60 percent of all global TV revenues in Q2. Samsung Electronics led global revenue share at nearly 29 percent, followed by LG Electronics at just over 14 percent and Sony at 7 percent. Two Chinese TV brands, Hisense at 6 percent and TCL at 5 percent rounded out the TV brand ranking.
The IHS TV Sets Market Tracker includes detailed information on TV shipments, by region, technology, size and resolution, for nearly 60 brands.