LCD TV market up 31 percent in 2010, projection for 2011 much lower

The global LCD TV market grew by 31 percent in 2010, but growth is expect to be only 13 percent in 2011, according to the latest report by market research firm DisplaySearch.

Total shipments of TVs in 2010 are expected to come in at 247 million units, with LCD TVs making up 190 million of those. This represents a 17 percent increase on growth seen in 2009, when growth of 14 percent was seen.

Much of the growth is the result of strong demand in Japan, where shipments for 2010 are expected to come in at 22.6 million units, a whopping 80 percent increase on 2009. Japan’s Eco Points system is the major reason behind the high growth.

This makes up for paltry growth of only 0.4 percent in the weak US market. High unemployment and wage cuts have caused many Americans to reconsider buying a new TV, particularly considering the high TV prices, which only fell six percent in 2010 compared to 22 percent in 2009.

3D TV helped the TV market a little, but not as much as many TV manufacturers would have liked. Only three million units sold worldwide, well below targets set by the major TV vendors.

The LCD TV penetration rate was high for 2010, taking over half of the market share in all regions except Asia Pacific, but despite this demand was lower than expected, leading to overstocked sets in the third quarter. Manufacturers attempted to ship these by dropping prices in the fourth quarter.

LED-backlit LCD TVs are expected to make up 20 percent of the market. This is expected to grow further in 2011, with most LCD TV sales featuring the technology, thanks to substantial decreases in prices to match older backlighting techniques.

Plasma TVs did much better in 2010, thanks to big price falls. It is forecast that 18 million units were shipped throughout the year, an increase of 28 percent on 2009, which was a very bad year for plasma, since it saw shipment declines.

2011 will not be as good for the TV market however. Japan’s Eco Points system will end this year, which will have a major effect, as will lower demand in Europe. While developing regions are expected to see strong growth, the overall global figure won’t be higher than 13 percent.