Plasma HD Sales are a Mixed Bag Globally

Flat-panel analyst DisplaySearch reports that shipments of PDP (plasma display panel) modules climbed 79 percent over a year ago to a record 1.24 million units worldwide. ("Modules" include both plasma TV panels, mostly for consumers, and public display units primarily used commercially.)

In North America, the HD PDP share rose from 41 percent to 45 percent, and rose in China from 12 percent to 14 percent. However, HD plasma declined slightly, from 39 percent to 38 percent, in Europe. By size and brand worldwide, Hitachi led at 32-inch and 55-inch SD, Panasonic led at 37-inch ED and HD, Samsung led at 42-inch ED, and Pioneer led at 42-43-inch HD 50-inch and 60-65-inch.

The quarterly survey found 42-43-inch remains the dominant PDP size category overall worldwide, with its share in the past 12 months rising from 75 percent to 79 percent as demand increased due primarily to more favorable price points (made possible, in turn, by higher sales). The 42-inch ED share grew from 51 percent to 56 percent. The 42-43-inch HD share rose from 22 percent to 23 percent.

Meanwhile, share of smaller displays of 32-37-inch fell from 15 percent to 10 percent, while 46-inch and larger displays maintained an 11 percent share. However, HD plasma displays lost share worldwide--falling from 43 percent to 40 percent--due to what DisplaySearch reported were ongoing economic problems in Japan, among other issues.