Samsung plasma generic
Sales up over 20% in the first quarter of 2010, and companies reporting even greater gains and ambitions

Don't listen to those who'd have you believe that plasma TVs are yesterday's technology: on the back of interest in 3D TV, sales of plasma screens are surging again.

That's the news from market analyst DisplaySearch, which reports 3.39m plasma TVs were sold in the first quarter of this year, up 21.4% from the sales in the same period last year.

And companies making plasma TVs are seeing even greater gains: Samsung sold 981,000 plasma sets between January and March, up 42% year-on-year, while LG clocked up a 39% increase, to 844,000 units.

Plasma TV market-leader Panasonic also saw a rise in sales of almost 30%: in the same period it sold 1.21m sets, and all three companies are expected to have sold well over a million plasma screens apiece in the second quarter of this year, with demand buoyed by the FIFA World Cup.

Both LG and Samsung are launching new plasma models to capitalise on this expansion: Samsung has expanded its PAVV Hybrid 3D PDP TV range on the Korean domestic market, claiming plasma image quality plus LCD-like energy efficiency, and now has four 3D plasma TVs.

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That brings the total number of plasma models in the company's catalogue to 22, up from 18 last year.

LG has just launched new 50in and 60in Infinia 3D plasma sets in Korea, and will be using 3D as a means to expand its presence in the larger-screen plasma market.

Both companies are clearly setting their sights on Panasonic's market leadership, with each aiming to sell over 4m plasma TVs this year.

Panasonic meanwhile says it will launch more 3D plasma TVs at IFA in Berlin this September, including 46in and 42in models. The company claims demand for its recently-released Viera TX-P50VT20 has been "three times higher than availability". All of the brand's 2010 3D TVs are expected to be plasmas.

DisplaySearch expects the total plasma TV market will grow 6% worldwide this year, to around 15m TVs. That's relatively small beer beside the scale of the LCD TV market, but shows plasma is far from down and out in the large-screen TV sector.Follow whathifi.com on Twitter