Despite a 7% Y/Y dip in global TV shipments, retail sales in North America have been steady, if not exciting, and unit shipments were up almost 3% in Q3'12 after posting small declines in 1H'12, Display Research announced.
The trend in the US market has been toward bigger and cheaper TVs, in the U.S. market lately, which is expected to be the focus during Black Friday this year.
“Procurement typically peaks at the end of Q3 for the upcoming holiday shopping season in the US. Since many retailers are focusing on big opening sales during Black Friday and promotions during pre-Black Friday, inventory has been building overtime to a level that will satisfy the demand,” observed Paul Gagnon, Director of Global TV Research for NPD DisplaySearch. “Based on the early promotional prices released ahead of Black Friday, retailers seem quite aggressive in starting the holiday season strong for TV sales.”
Worldwide TV shipments fell on a Y/Y basis for the fourth straight quarter, as demand in Japan and Western Europe fell sharply. TV shipments in Japan were down over 70% Y/Y for the second quarter in a row, while Western Europe shipments fell more than 15%. Flat panel TV growth in emerging regions were lower than expected, especially in Asia Pacific, where the Indian TV market looks to decline in Q3’12, due to little retail set price erosion.
TV shipments in China grew over 13% Y/Y in Q3’12 as set makers anticipated demand for TVs during the Golden Week holidays in October. Growth was also helped by the new energy efficiency rebate program that started in June. Both factors led Chinese TV makers to increase production. As plasma TV shipments continue to decline, LCD remains the dominant flat panel TV technology, capturing a 16% Q/Q increase in unit shipments. However, overall LCD TV unit sales fell in Q3’12, down 1% Y/Y. This marks three straight quarters of annual Y/Y shipment declines. Even with a growing share, the overall level of demand worldwide continues to fall in 2012, impacting LCD shipments. LED LCD TV shipments continue to climb, exceeding 70% of units and 80% of revenues for total global TV shipments. North America had the lowest LED and 3D shipment penetration of any region worldwide since these consumers are most interested in screen size and price. Large screen sizes also continue to have strong growth, with the average shipped TV size increasing more than 6% to 35.8”—the highest growth yet.
Table 1: Q3’12 Worldwide TV Shipments by Technology
Both Samsung and LGE increased global flat panel TV revenues Y/Y by 3% and 1%, respectively, remaining the top 2 brands overall. Samsung’s share was down slightly from Q2’12, but it was still more than 10% higher than LGE’s share. The top 3 Japanese brands saw revenues decline at a double-digit pace from last year, although Sharp enjoyed a strong boost to its revenue share from Q2’12 to Q3’12. Overall, Chinese brands captured a lot of market share in Q3’12 due to the seasonal brand shift to China ahead of the Golden Week holidays.
Table 2: Q3’12 Worldwide Flat Panel TV Brand Ranking by Revenue Share