LCD Reigns… But Shipments Down for First Time

For the first time on a year-to-year basis, TV shipments of LCD HD sets in North America fell 7 percent (10.7 million units) as the U.S. and global economies grew sicklier in the final quarter of 2008—the most important period of the year for retailers and manufacturers because it includes the crucial holiday sales season. The new preliminary numbers come from DisplaySearch.

On the plus side, most retailers avoided the secondary headache of having to deal with too much inventory as a result of the lower sales: Dealers had reduced their orders to manufacturers in anticipation of weaker demand, according to the Austin, Texas-based consultancy.

LCD, however, clearly remained the most popular technology for HD buyers, even while LCD shipments fell on a yearly basis for the first time from 8.9 million to 8.7 million units in the respective final quarters of 2008 and 2007.

Ironically, plasma HD sets grew by 10 percent on a year-to-year basis, but sold far fewer units than LCD in the past year—a competitive trend that is likely to accelerate in the next year in favor of LCD.

Read all of HD Notebookhere.