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Display authority lowers 2012 LCD TV shipment estimate, predicts overall TV decline

Display industry authority NPD DisplaySearch has lowered its forecast for LCD TV shipments despite predicted growth in emerging markets, large screen sizes, LED backlights and 3-D sets.

In its latest "Quarterly Global TV Shipment and Forecast Report," NPD DisplaySearch is forecasting slower growth this year compared to 2011 and a decline in the overall TV market.

Total TV shipments are forecast to fall 1.4 percent in 2012 to 245 million units, while LCD TV is expected to increase by 5 percent, compared to 7 percent growth in 2011, to reach 216 million units, the report forecasts.

According to NPD DisplaySearch, there are a couple of reasons for the decline in the overall TV market demand and the slower growth in LCD TV shipments: a slower rate of price erosion and cautious spending by consumers in Europe and Asia.

Average LCD TV selling prices are expected to decline 4 percent in 2012 compared to 6 percent price slippage in 2011 and a 10 percent decline in 2010. The growth is also slower this year as the transition to digital broadcasting, which accelerated purchases in major markets over the past few years, has largely been completed. However, many emerging markets are still in the early stages of the switch to digital broadcasting.

"The worldwide demand for TVs is slower this year as economic uncertainty in many regions and a greater focus on profits by many LCD TV supply chain members will lead to softer price erosion, which in turn has a direct impact on sales," said Paul Gagnon, director of North America TV Research for NPD DisplaySearch.

LCD TVs remain the only growing TV technology, as OLED TVs are likely to launch late this year, and LCD continues to take market share from both CRT and plasma technologies. LCD TVs are expected to account for about 88 percent of total TV shipments worldwide in 2012, up from 82 percent the year before, and are projected to peak around 97 percent of overall unit demand in 2015. Plasma TV shipments on the other hand will fall to about 5 percent, declining 26 percent year over year as pricing becomes uncompetitive at key sizes.