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LCD TV Shipments Rebound Ahead of 2011 Holiday Selling Period
Dec 8, 2011
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TV market shipments were up 3.7% year-over-year in the third quarter of 2011 to 62 million units - a 12% increase from the second quarter of 2011, according to the latest DisplaySearch Advanced Quarterly Global TV Shipment and Forecast Report.

3Q is a rebound from a 1% year-over-year shipment decline in 2Q 2011 and a weak 1% year-over-year increase in 1Q 2011.

The research firm reported, however, that orders for LCD and plasma panels used in TV production were both down in 3Q 2011, the result of lean inventories at the quarter. Some suppliers taking a conservative approach to holiday season inventories. If holiday demand is better than expected the supply chain may not be fully prepared to fulfill restocking orders, which could potentially result in some TV shortages.

The research firm characterized 2011 as challenging for the TV industry, with slow consumer demand in the developed markets such as North America, Japan, and Western Europe. this resulted in poor profitability for TV makers and display panel makers. Because supply chain inventory problems lasted into mid-2011, TV makers reduced planned shipments for the year and reduced panel orders in Q3, leading to bigger price declines for the panels.

The benefit to consumers: lower retail TV prices during the 2011 holiday season.

"End-market demand has been weak in North America during most of 2011, with unit shipments falling around 4% year-over-year through the first three quarters of the year,” noted Paul Gagnon, DisplaySearch director of North America TV Research. “However, consumers, still quite sensitive to pricing, may be delaying purchases until the holidays when they expect to see the best deals. Consumers have learned this practice from observing previous holiday selling periods.”

LCD TV shipments worldwide were about 1% better than forecasted – up 12.9% year-over-year to 51.5 million TVs compared to single-digit annual growth during 1Q 2011 and 2Q 2011. The research firm said this indicates improving demand in end markets.

Some LCD TV retail prices are falling below key price levels:
• $300 for 32-inch
• $500 for 40-inch to 42-inch

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