An extraordinary 261.8 million flat panel TVs shipped in 2010, according to figures from Displaybank.
That represents 31 percent growth compared to the previous year, although the flood will abate somewhat this year, with only a paltry 230 million shipping in 2011, the research company said.
Korean companies Samsung and LG Electronics were numbers one and two in the market, with Sony the third in the TV pecking order.
The growth was driven by shorter TV replacement cycles, a decrease in pricing, a growth in the number of TVs per houshold, government support policies such as China’s electronics subsidy programme, and the relentless move towards digital broadcasting.
Jusy Hong, a senior analyst at Displaybank, said that in 2011, sales will move from developed countries to emerging market. The flat panel market will represent a 13 percent year on year growth and out of the 233.08 million units shipping, LCD will represent 215.38 million units, with PDP TV declining three percent to 17.7 million units. The following chart shows vendor market share – pie chart courtesy of Displaybank.
Demand for LED LCD TVs has been on the rise, but sales have been stunted by the fact that key components, such as Light Guide Plates (LGPs), are in short supply. This is set to continue well into 2011, causing concern for many in the industry.
The shortages in LGPs and raw materials for edge-type LED LCD panels was first raised during the first half of this year. LGP manufacturers have been attempting to deal with the problem by turning their diffusion plate lines into LGP lines, increasing competition dramatically, but still failing to meet the increasing demand.
A slight ease up on demand has recently helped, forcing many retailers to sell of overstocked units at sale prices. This has resulted in some manufacturers producing less LGPs than their capacity allows. However, this slowing demand is expected to change for the worse in 2011, according to the LGP for LED LCD TV 2011 report by Displaybank.
The report highlights that 78 million units of LED LCD Tvs will be sold next year, double that of 2010, while the edge-type LED LCD market will boom thanks to increasing demand. It predicts that the slowdown in production of LGPs could have a detrimental effect on the market when things pick up, as there simply will not be enough to go around.
With the market expected to double in 2011, supply of LGPs and raw materials will be essential. To ease the problem some LGP manufacturers are attempting to make slimmer LGPs, which will utilise less raw materials and therefore result in more end products.
Many LGP makers are still producing the plates with a thickness of 4mm, despite the ability to lower this to 3.5mm or even 3mm and save the extra raw materials for other LGPs.
LGP manufacturers are also experimenting with new processes and the development of new materials, which could help the situation. Some are also increasing the brightness of their LGPs, but this is unlikely to have a positive effect on supply.
Shipments of large TFT LCD flat panels fell in June 2010 by 2.1 percent as manufacturers took steps to prepare for the second half of the year.
According to market research company Displaybank, shipments amounted to 57.20 million units with revenues amounting to $6.96 billion. But even though there was a decline in shipments, Displaybank said that LCD TV shipments rose 1.7 percent to amount to 17.56 million units.
That’s a record shipment of LCD TV units. At the same time LCD monitors amounted to 17.97 million units, while notebooks dropped by 3.3 percent, month on month to 20.70 million units. The following graph, courtesy of Displaybank, shows the monthly trends in the market.
In geographical terms, South Korea had 47.6 percent market share, followed by Taiwan with 41.3 percent share.
LG Display held the pole position at 24.8 percent market share, followed by Samsung – yet the latter was the leader in terms of revenue.
Senior analyst Ricky Park said the declines on both price and shipments was prompted primarily by TV manufacturers operating a stable inventory strategy and concerns about the economy slowing down in the second half of this year.
From a modest figure of $34 million this year, the market for flexible displays is set to grow to be worth $2.4 billion in 2015 and as much as $30 billion in 2020.
That’s according to a research report from Displaybank, and the main driver of growth in the market will be e-books and advertising until 2011.
But after that date, flexible displays will have an alternative use in mobile phones, according to the research outfit.
The figures, however, are predicated on companies successfully developing display devices, backplanes, substrate, material, process technology and manufacturing equipment, said Displaybank.
The ideal specs for flexible displays includes e-paper which is thin, light, rugged, flexible, foldable, and bendable. Many vendors are already working on such specifications. Earlier this year, Plastic Logic said that it was readying a colour version of its flexible product, the QUE ProReader.
The following chart is courtesy of Displaybank, and shows the phenomenal growth in flexible displays it forecasts.