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US TV shipments drop by 9% in 2013

The US TV market fell by a “steep” 9% in 2013, with set shipments dropping to 34 million, compared to 37.5 million in 2012, according to new stats by IHS technology.

The research firm said the decline came in spite of “the usual last-minute rally during the holiday season in the fourth quarter,” which failed to compensate for low demand throughout the rest of the year.

“The TV market in the United States has reached a point of saturation following a period of huge growth in years past, especially as the flat-panel-TV craze set in. As a result of the market’s maturity, and also because of lingering uncertainties in the economy, American consumers have been less eager to rush out and buy new replacement TV sets,” said IHS TV systems analyst Veronica Gonzalez-Thayer.

The 2013 figures mark the first time that US TV shipments have dipped to 34 million or below in the past five years. For each year from 2009 to 2011, shipments were more than 38 million units, said IHS.

Of the 34 million TVs shipped in the US last year, 31.9 million were LCD sets, down 6% year-on-year, while just 2.1 million were plasma display panel sets – marking a massive 42% decline in plasma shipments. IHS said that “plasma TVs are on their way out”, with shipments of these sets on the retreat since 2010.

The decline in TV shipments had a knock-on effect on revenue, which dropped 12% year-on-year to US$23.5 billion.
For 2014, IHS predicted that the market will start to stabilise “as the consumer purchase cycle readjusts after two years of continuous losses.”

Shipment growth will be flat to slightly positive in 2014, according to IHS, with the market to be “revitalised” by a projected rise in LCD TV shipments as well as the entry of AMOLED TVs.

Tags: IHS, US