Growth in flatscreen sales expected to slow as prices stabilise and market penetration increases

Sales of flatscreen TVs have been growing strongly in recent years, as consumers replace old CRT televisions.

But forecasts from market analysts DisplaySearch suggest that the 18% growth year on year seen in 2010, which reflected total shipments of some 248m TVs worldwide, will fall to just a 4% growth this year.

Falling TV prices stabilising

And while sales of flatscreen TVs were up 32% in 2010, this year is expected to see increases of just 12%: in many established markets consumers have made the big move from a CRT TV to a flatscreen model, and the falling prices of TVs show signs of stabilising.

DisplaySearch Director of North American TV Research Paul Gagnon says that 'As the household installed base for flat panel TVs increases above 50-60%, the growth rate slows, which is currently the situation in Japan, Western Europe, and North America.

'Emerging markets, however, are still ripe for sustained growth due to a low level of household flat panel TV penetration.'

LCD remains the dominant TV type, and is expected to account for around 84% of all sets sold in 2011: worldwide shipments will rise 13% this year, to almost 217m units, and it's thought sales will hit 270m by 2014.

Plasma up 30% in 2010

Meanwhile plasma sales have staged something of a comeback, helped by the fact average prices of these TVs are down some 15%: 2010 plasma shipments were up 30% year on year.

However, DisplaySearch expects plasma sales to slow considerably as LCD technology regains market share in the sub-50in sector, leaving plasma to hold its own in the relatively small 50in+ arena.

100m 3D TVs a year by 2014

3D TVs accounted for just 10% of worldwide TV revenues in the last quarter of 2010, with sales of around 2m sets, but it's expected to account for over half of all TV revenue by 2014, with sales of 100m TVs worldwide.

Overall, DisplaySearch says, 'Emerging regions, which include China, Asia Pacific, Latin America, Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Africa, will have the strongest flat panel TV growth over the next four years, averaging 17% growth each year.

'The Asia Pacific region is positioned for strongest growth as the late adopting India market begins to boom.

'By comparison, developed regions (North America, Japan, and Western Europe) will see no growth over the same time period.'

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Andrew has written about audio and video products for the past 20+ years, and been a consumer journalist for more than 30 years, starting his career on camera magazines. Andrew has contributed to titles including What Hi-Fi?, GramophoneJazzwise and Hi-Fi CriticHi-Fi News & Record Review and Hi-Fi Choice. I’ve also written for a number of non-specialist and overseas magazines.