Global Plasma and LCD TV Sales Booming

Market analysis firm DisplaySearch has issued new reports on the global sales of plasma and LCD televisions during the third quarter of 2006. And guess what: sales are booming, even before the lucrative end-of-year holiday buying season gets into full swing.

Demand in the North American market spurred sales of plasma televisions during the third quarter of the year, with shipments rising 45 percent compared to the same quarter a year ago, and totaling some 2.3 million units. The figures also represent a 4 percent quarter-to-quarter increase in unit shipments. But all is not roses for plasma sets: despite a substantial 38 percent increase in demand from the North American market, shipments were down between 4 and 20 percent in other regions due to competition from LCD television and lower-than-expected sell-through during soccer’s World Cup championships. In fact, LCD televisions outshipped plasma sets globally for the first time in the 37-inch and large category, and LCDs climed to a 41 percent market share in the 40+-inch category, and LCDs have already taken the market lead on the Chinese and Japanese markets.

“Given share losses at smaller sizes, plasma TV manufacturers are increasing their focus on larger sizes and becoming more dependent on the North American market, like microdisplay rear projection TVs, due to the North American consumer’s appetite for big screen TVs,” said DisplaySearch President Ross Young. “In Q3’06, North America accounted for 70% of all plasma TVs 50 inches and larger.” Panasonic is still the leader among plasma makers, remaining the top manufacturer for the ninth consecutive quarter and reaching a record high unit share of 33 percent, with a revenue share of 34 percent.

LCD television shipments had a huge quarter, rising 99 percent during the third quarter of 2006, compared to the same quarter a year ago. North America also rose to 33.7 percent share of the LCD market, edging out Europe by a tenth of a percentage point as demand for new television sets for World Cup soccer matches largely failed to materialize. The LCD television market also has a new leader, with South Korea’s Samsung taking the top spot for units shipped and overall revenue for the first time. Overall, 10.8 million LCD televisions were shipped during the third quarter of year, a record high, and accounting for 24 percent of the worldwide television market.

In terms of units shipped, the top five LCD television manufacturers are Samsung, Sharp, Philips, Sony, and LGE; however, in terms of revenue, Sony took the number two spot.

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