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DisplaySearch figures show TV shipments buck general economic trend

While the public may be on edge about rising home foreclosure rates and higher gasoline and food prices, the economic news hasn’t held back shipments of TV sets, according to the latest figures from DisplaySearch.

Last week, the market research organization released figures showing particularly strong growth in North American shipments of TV sets in the second quarter. Shipments grew 28 percent year over year, compared with 5 percent growth in Q1 Y/Y and negative growth for most of 2007.

The North American growth rate is substantially higher than worldwide shipment growth, which reached 11 percent year over year to 47.5 million units in the second quarter of 2008.

The research organization attributed the strong North American growth to new, lower-cost, flat-panel TV models introduced to the U.S. market by top-tier brands in the second quarter. The growth worldwide represents a 3 percent increase quarter over quarter for Q2 2008.

The findings, part of DisplaySearch’s “Quarterly Global TV Shipment and Forecast Report,” revealed that LCD televisions remain the hottest display technology, with shipments growing 47 percent year over year to 23.7 million units.

Similarly, plasma televisions registered strong unit shipment growth, increasing 52 percent year over year to 3.4 million units. DisplaySearch credited the reintrodution of 32in models in the North American market and greater availability of 1080p sets as the primary factors for the growth in plasma television shipments.

Globally, flat-panel TV shares rose from 52 percent in the first quarter of 2008 to 57 percent as LCD regained a unit share lead from CRT, climbing to nearly 50 percent of all TV shipments worldwide.

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