After several quarters of year-over-year growth, the pace of global TV shipments is finally slowing due in part to the recession and high-price points, according to a new report by DisplaySearch, a market research group.
In fact, TV shipments slowed worldwide nine percent in the third quarter, and not even the World Cup – which had the potential to drive big sales this past summer – helped to boost sales. As a result, there's now a surplus of unsold inventory hanging out in Asia.
The good news is that plasmas and LCD models saw positive year-over-year growth. Plasma TV shipments were up by 35 percent to more than 4.8 million units, while LCD TV shipments rose 22 percent to 45.7 million units.
DLP rear projection TVs, which are sold only in North America, posted positive annual growth in the third quarter, as consumers concentrated on value during the slow economic recovery.
Despite this, it was the weakest quarter of annual shipment growth since the fourth quarter of 2008, when the global economic crisis significantly reduced global spending on TVs.
"Consumers are clearly focusing on value right now, which is one of the reasons why plasma TV growth has been so strong this year after a 1.5 percent global shipment decline in 2009," said Hisakazu Torii, vice president of TV research for DisplaySearch.
"LCD TV panel prices remained so steady during the first half of the year, which translated to relatively stable retail prices, and there was an increase in higher-priced LED-backlit models in the LCD TV mix," Torii said. "Both of those LCD TV trends mean that plasma TVs have enjoyed an increasing price advantage this year at comparable sizes."