The research firm said that shipments of LCD TVs, the dominant display technology, fell less than 1% in 2015 to 224 million units, compared to a 7% increase in 2014.
Plasma and CRT shipments have fallen to “negligible levels”, and while organic light-emitting diode (OLED) TV is still in the “early stages of growth”, according to IHS.
Despite the overall decline, unit shipments of 4K TVs rose by an impressive 173% to 32 million units, helped by an almost 30% erosion of selling-price-per-inch of display.
“The pace of TV screen size growth slowed in 2015, and the average size of TV displays grew just 2% to 39.3 inches, which is about half the rate of growth in 2014. However the 4K TV mix at even mid-range screen sizes (between 40 inches and 50 inches) has been better than expected. 4K TV accounted for 50% of shipments of 55-inch-and-larger TVs in 2015, and 30% of 48-inch to 50-inch TVs,” said IHS.
In the fourth quarter, global TV shipments declined 2% year-over-year, as North American TV shipments grew 2%. While overall TV shipments in emerging markets declined 6% percent year-on-year in Q4, TV shipments in China surged 12% due to sell-in for the Chinese New Year Holidays.
Overall IHS said that an “abrupt weakening” of global demand for TV sets, combined with continued LCD capacity expansion, caused an oversupply in the market in the second half of 2015.
“This resulted in extremely steep LCD TV panel price declines, but it has been difficult to pass the savings along to consumers, as inflation and currency depreciation in emerging markets have offset the cost reduction,” according to the research.