Overall Demand For Television Sets Sees Declines
June 21, 2012

Overall Demand For Television Sets Sees Declines

John Neumann for redOrbit.com

Has the global market for television peaked? 51 million television sets were shipped in the first quarter of 2012, an almost 8 percent drop, according to DisplaySearch, a market research and consulting firm specializing in the display supply chain.

LCD TVs showed the largest drop with a 3 percent decline from last year to 43 million units. In the first quarter alone, LCD shipments dropped 33 percent, though the sets still nabbed 84.2 percent of the market, DisplaySearch reported.

In the 40-inch and larger screen market, however, LCD-based sets saw an increase in sales with the average LCD TV screen size increasing 5 percent this year, surpassing the 35-inch models for the first time, writes Stephanie Mlot for PC Mag.

“Soft demand and cautious expectations about the upcoming year in many parts of the TV supply chain have led to a slowdown in shipments,” Paul Gagnon, NPD DisplaySearch Director of North America TV Research said in a statement.

“Key component prices, such as LCD panels, are not expected to decline much in 2012, and many brands are concentrating on improving their bottom line. Both of these trends will contribute to slowing unit volume among a price conscious consumer market.”

Plasma TVs, once seen as the next great technology among televisions, is also cooling off among consumers -  down 18 percent, though a specific reason is “kind of a mystery,” Gagnon said. The majority of the recent plasma shipment volume remains focused on low-cost 2D HD models wearing lower price tags.

Gagnon related that a saturated market inundated with flat-screens is the most likely reason for the overall slump in sales, writes Erin Kim for CNN Money. Anyone who has wanted a new TV with the latest technology already have one or more. Consumers also tend to swap out their TVs less frequently than they would their smartphones or computers.

“When the penetration reaches pretty high levels and there isn´t a super compelling reason to go out and upgrade a recently purchased TV, it leads to these soft spots, especially with the global economy being as weak as it is right now,” he said. “People are just more conservative in their shopping behavior and they don´t really see reason to go out and upgrade their TVs.”

Obsolete and unwieldy cathode-ray tube sets were down 31 percent and are not even available for sale in the US, writes Eric Savitz for Forbes. Shipments of 3D TV, until recently hailed as the next must-have technology, rose just over 14 percent from a year ago. A modest uptick, but not a scorching sales leader.

Brand-wise, Samsung moved the highest number of TVs in the quarter, with 26 percent of the market. LG was the in second place with a 14 percent share.