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ISuppli forecasts dramatic growth for worldwide 3-D TV shipments by 2015

The number of 3-D TVs to ship worldwide by 2015 will reach 78 million, climbing at a compound annual growth rate of 80 percent from the 4.2 million expected to ship this year, according to a new forecast from market research firm iSuppli.

ISuppli predicts that only early adopters will purchase 3-D TVs in 2010 and 2011. However, by 2012 and beyond, sales will spread to a wider audience as content availability increases and prices drop — factors that will enable 3-D TVs to appeal to a wider audience.

Panasonic, Samsung and Sony have already announced their commitment to 3-D TV. Panasonic began offering consumers a bundle, including a 3-D TV, Blu-ray Disc player and viewing glasses through retailer Best Buy; Samsung announced the availability of 3-D TV models ranging from 40in to 65in; and Sony plans to come to market in June with its own offerings.

According to iSuppli, competition in the 3-D market is expected to be intense, causing prices to plunge. The global average selling price for 3-D TVs is set to drop to $825 by 2015, less than half the $1768 average selling price in 2010. This will make 3-D TVs attractive to worldwide consumers, and revenue from 3-D TV shipments will climb to $64.4 billion in 2015, up by nearly a factor of nine from $7.4 billion in 2010, the research firm projects.