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Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Global Flat Panel TV Revenues Fall for First Time Ever in Q4'08

As global economic conditions deteriorated during Q4'08, consumer demand for discretionary purchases suffered, including flat panel TVs.

According to the latest findings from the DisplaySearch Quarterly Global TV Shipment and Forecast Report, global TV shipments fell more than 5% Y/Y in Q4?08 to 57.7M units from more than 60M units a year earlier. This is the first Y/Y decline in total TV shipments for more than two years. Due to ASP declines, total TV revenues fell even more, declining by 7% to just over $30 billion despite flat panel technologies picking up more than 10% unit share.

Combined flat panel TV revenues?which includes LCD, plasma and OLED technologies?posted the first annual decline in a given quarter, falling 3% Y/Y despite 17% growth in unit volume with falling prices affecting revenues.

Globally, flat panel TV share surged from 57% in Q3?08 to 66% in Q4?08 as rapidly falling LCD prices stimulated a shift from CRT to LCD, especially at smaller screen sizes under 40". The 1080p share of global TV shipments exceeded 20% of units for the first time, and a new metric available from DisplaySearch in TV tracking shows that more than 10% of LCD TV sets shipped were equipped with 120 Hz+ frame rates.

Annual LCD TV shipment results for 2008 as a whole were 105M units, up 33% Y/Y and in line with DisplaySearch?s forecast in Q3?08, which was made prior to the global economic crisis. These positive results also pushed LCD TV past CRT TV worldwide for the first time on an annual basis and mark significant progress in the transition from tube to flat panel technologies.

China remained the largest market for TVs on a unit basis, accounting for just over 19% of units, followed by Western Europe and North America at just less than 19%. However, on a revenue basis, North America remains the world?s largest TV market despite strong Q/Q revenue growth in Western Europe. LCD TV picked up market share in every region, with especially strong share gains in China and Eastern Europe.

Despite the difficult economy and concerns about consumer spending during the holidays, demand for larger screen sizes grew during Q4?08. The share of TVs shipped at 40"+ screen sizes reached an all-time high of 23%, up from 19% in Q3?08 and 18% in Q4?07. This was largely the result of significant discounts by manufacturers and retailers, both hoping to avoid excessive inventory after the holidays. The volume weighted average price for 32"+ TV?s fell 19% Y/Y during Q4?08, while <32" was unchanged from a year ago.

On a brand basis, Samsung remained the global brand share leader in revenues for the twelfth straight quarter, holding their revenue share nearly unchanged at 22%, more than 7 share points higher than #2 Sony. However, Sony enjoyed the strongest share growth and Q/Q revenue growth among the top five. Samsung was also the overall unit shipment leader and was in the top three rankings in each technology category (except OLED) and led LCD TV shipments. Sony enjoyed strong Q/Q revenue growth, but their Y/Y revenues declined by 7% due to ASP erosion. LGE rounded out the top three TV brands worldwide at 11.5% revenue share and maintained a very slight advantage over Samsung in the high growth emerging market segment.

For more information on this report visit

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