Flat panel sales on the slide

Global flat-panel TV sales fell in July compared to the same period a year ago, according to a study by IHS. 

According to IHS’s Monthly Worldwide FPD TV Shipment Data Report, total global shipments of LCD and plasma display panel TVs amounted to 14.88 million units, down 6.3% from July 2012.

LCD TVs, which account for the bulk of the global flat-panel TV space, posted a 5.7% year-on-year decline based on shipments of 14.1 million units, while plasma screen shipments totalled 781,000, down 15.8%.

The decline continued a downward trend seen in June. IHS predicts that shipments will remain lower than 2012 levels until October’s figures are available.

According to the research group, the fact that the vast majority of screens are now based on LED technology, superseding the CCFL technology used in earlier LCD screens, means that differentiation is increasingly based on price, favouring low-cost Chinese brands, which say their share of the market rise from 15.5% in June to 201.4% in July at the expense of Japanese and Korean rivals.

“Last year was the first time that global flat-panel TV shipments failed to grow, following a decade of blockbuster expansion and runaway success,” said Jusy Hong, senior analyst for consumer electronics and technology at IHS. “This year as recently as May, it appeared that the flat-panel TV market might pull off a rebound even if growth would have been marginal at less than 1%. However, with any increase unlikely to take place even in the fourth quarter, it appears more likely that TV shipments will post another year of decline in 2013. If so, this would make it the second year in a row that flat-panel TV shipments retrench—an unthinkable prospect just a few years back, during the flat-panel boom.”

Tags: Flat panel, IHS, LCD, Plasma, TV