Plasma Shipments Climb 95 Percent

Plasma TV shipments to dealers rose 30 percent Q/Q and 95 percent Y/Y to 2.2 million units in Q2 2006 (April-June) representing about a 5 percent share of worldwide TV shipments for the quarter. According to new data from flatscreen analyst DisplaySearch, plasma shipments were slightly higher than expected with all regions except China.

Most plasma units shipped are HD. Panasonic was the top plasma TV brand for the eighth consecutive quarter with its market share growing to 28 percent.

North America overtook Europe for the first time on a unit basis on stronger demand for larger sizes; resulting in a 34 to 32 percent share advantage. North America also dominated the 50-inch plasma market -- accounting for 63 percent of all 50-inch plasma sets sold worldwide in Q2 2006.

And 50-inch plasma units also overtook 50- to 54-inch microdisplay RPTV (rear projection) sets for the first time in North America and worldwide in Q2, which DisplaySearch said was fueled by lower prices and a declining price gap, with the difference in HD prices falling by more than 50 percent over the year to less than $1,400.

The 50-inch plasma units also led competing technologies in Japan, Europe and the rest of the world. Yet in China, plasma volume declined for the second consecutive quarter as its own domestic brands shifted their 40 to 47 inch focus to LCD units. (50-inch plasma sets remain well beyond the reach of most Chinese consumers, said DisplaySearch.)