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Flat-panel TV shipments continue to decline

Staff writer |
For the second month in a row, global shipments of flat-panel televisions fell in July compared to year-ago levels, dampening hopes that the market will achieve any growth this year, according to IHS.

The combined shipments worldwide in July of liquid-crystal display (LCD) and plasma display panel (PDP) TVs amounted to 14.88 million units, down 6.3 percent from July 2012, according to the "Monthly Worldwide FPD TV Shipment Data Report" from the TV Systems Intelligence Serviceat IHS.

LCD TVs, which account for the bulk of the global flat-panel TV space, posted a 5.7 percent year-on-year decline based on shipments of 14.1 million units, as presented in the attached figure. PDP TVs, making up the remainder of the flat-panel TV market with shipments of 781,000, contracted by an even steeper margin-down 15.8 percent from the same time last year.

The retreat in July was a repeat of what had happened in June, and the downward trend is unlikely to turn around soon given the ongoing reduction in demand. Companies remain conservative in their outlook for the next few months until the end of the year when shipments are expected to bounce back, in line with the traditional sales bump anticipated during the holiday season.

Overall, however, monthly shipments will continue to be smaller than their comparable months in 2012 until October, a development with ominous undertones.

TV panels featuring light-emitting-diode (LED) backlighting technology now make up 95 percent of shipments. As a result, the Chinese manufacturers that are prominent players in the business have altogether stopped producing cold cathode fluorescent lamp (CCFL) panels typical of earlier-generation LCD TV displays.

Chinese TV brands as a group enjoyed the best performance in July, posting a slight growth in shipments for the month and gaining market share as a result. The combined share of six major Chinese TV brands-Changhong, Haier, Hisense, Konka, Skyworth and TCL-rose 5 percentage points to 20.4 percent, up from 15.5 percent in June. Meanwhile, the share of both South Korean and Japanese makers, rivals to the Chinese, slipped by 2 percentage points.

The South Korean giants maintained their positions at the top. Samsung Electronics remained the No. 1 TV maker with a 19 percent share of shipments, followed by LG Electronics with 14 percent.

Tied at third place were Sony of Japan and TCL, Japan's Toshiba and Hisense of China are tied at fourth spot, each with 5 percent. Rounding out the Top 5 was another group of companies that had tied-this time a trio, made up of Sharp and Panasonic from Japan, as well as China's Skyworth.

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