Matsushita Reclaims Plasma Lead in Q2

According to new quarterly data for Q2 2006 for the plasma panel market from analyst DisplaySearch, shipments rose only 3 percent from the Q1 of the year, to 2.4 million panels. However, the Austin, Texas-based firm said on a year-to-year (Y/Y) basis, Q2 shipments were up 73 percent. While revenues declined about 1 percent from Q/Q, they rose 52 percent Y/Y.

DisplaySearch said the somewhat disappointing sequential increase (quarter to quarter) was due to several factors, including disappointing demand for new plasma sets globally for the World Cup this summer, a lack of supply growth, limited price reductions (with supply growth limited and demand tight, there was less pressure to reduce prices), and increased competition from 40-inch LCD units -- where prices are falling faster.

Only one plasma panel supplier, Matsushita (Panasonic), realized more than 2 percent growth in the Q2 of the year, according to DisplaySearch. Matsushita saw 32 percent growth to reclaim the top position with a 31 percent share of the plasma market (up from 24 percent). LGE fell from the top spot to runner-up on a 2 percent decline. Samsung remained third on growth of 2 percent.

The top three suppliers, combined, accounted for an 84 percent share of the plasma market.