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LCD TV shipments in U.S. market suffer first annual decline, says iSuppli

This year for the first time shipments of LCD TVs in the United States are expected to fall due to slow price declines and continuing concern over the state of the country’s economy, according to the latest sales forecast from market research firm iSuppli.

U.S. shipments of the sets will total 31.9 million this year, down 1.2 percent from 32.3 million in 2009. According to iSuppli, while small, the decline is “a shocking reversal” for a market that has seen robust expansion of LCD TV shipments since volume delivery began in 2006. The realities of the economy have caught up with the LCD market, which has caused the decline, said Riddhi Patel, iSuppli director and principal analyst, television.

Next year, however, Patel said she sees a return to growth in LCD TV shipments as consumer confidence is expected to grow. The research firm forecasts growing consumer confidence during the coming years will boost consumer electronics sales, particularly TVs.

Another important factor boosting future sales will be the shift away from cold cathode fluorescent sets to LED-backlit units, according to iSuppli. Local and state governments that track energy consumption as well as environmentally aware consumers will contribute to spur sales in this category. LED-backlit sets also will give consumers a reason to replace existing LCD TVs, iSuppli noted.

The research firm laid out its forecast in its new report, entitled: “Can Price Declines Jumpstart Consumer TV Purchases in U.S.?

Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.