2012 LCD TV Forecast Lowered to 216M Units

Shipments of LCD TVs are now expected to grow at a slower pace in 2012 than 2011, according to the latest Quarterly Global TV Shipment and Forecast Report issued by NPD DisplaySearch. In addition, the overall TV market is expected to decline this year, even as segments such as emerging markets, large screen sizes, LED backlights, and 3D continue to grow.

In the latest forecast update, total TV shipments are forecast to fall 1.4 percent in 2012 to 245M units, while LCD TV is expected to increase by 5 percent — compared to 7 percent growth in 2011 — reaching 216 million units. The decline in overall TV market demand and the slower growth in LCD TV shipments can be attributed to the slower rate of price erosion and cautious spending by consumers in Europe and Asia. Average LCD TV selling prices are only expected to decline 4 percent in 2012 compared with 6 percent erosion in 2011 and 10 percent erosion in 2010. The growth is also slower this year as the transition to digital broadcasting, which accelerated purchases in major markets over the past few years has largely been completed. However, many emerging markets are still in the early stages of the switch to digital broadcasting.

“The worldwide demand for TVs is slower this year as economic uncertainty in many regions and a greater focus on profits by many LCD TV supply chain members will lead to softer price erosion, which in turn has a direct impact on sales,” noted Paul Gagnon, director of North America TV research for NPD DisplaySearch. Gagnon added, “However, several key high value segments of the TV business, such as large screen sizes and LED-backlit LCD TVs, continue to grow.”

Growth in emerging markets like China, Asia Pacific, Latin America, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa, are expected to reach 8 percent Y/Y in 2012, matching the pace from 2011. Growth in these regions is expected to remain in the mid-single-digit range throughout the forecast period, offsetting the lack of strong growth in countries already well along the flat panel TV conversion path.

Indeed, LCD TVs remain the only growing TV technology, as OLED TVs are likely to launch late this year, and LCD continues to take market share from both CRT and plasma technologies. LCD TVs are expected to account for about 88 percent of total TV shipments worldwide in 2012, up from 82 percent the year before, and are projected to peak around 97 percent of overall unit demand in 2015. Plasma TV shipments on the other hand will fall to about 5 percent, declining 26 percent Y/Y as pricing becomes uncompetitive at key sizes.

Larger screen sizes continue to increase their share as affordability improves and early adopting flat panel TV consumers re-enter the market for an upgrade. The share of TV shipments at 50” and larger screen sizes is expected to jump from 6.5 percent in 2011 to 7.7 percent in 2012 and reach 10 percent by 2015. This will bring the average screen size to 35” for the first time in 2012, while the average size sold in North America is expected to exceed 40” in 2013.