Commidization Drives Flat Panel TV Sales

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Sales of flat-panel TVs were slow until brisk fourth quarter sales drove the category to experience a 19 percent gain for all of 2009.


Feb. 22, 2010 — by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

For the majority of 2009 U.S. sales of the 40 inch and above TV category were slow, however, according to Quixel Research, sales of these products grew during the fourth quarter to ultimately drive the category to a 19 percent overall increase in unit sales for the year.

Quixel Research’s USA Large Area Display Report revealed that fourth quarter (Q4) 2009 unit sales increased 63 percent compared to Q3 2009 with all technologies posting double digit increases for the quarter. Unit sales for both large LCD and Plasma TVs were up over 60 percent from Q3 to Q4 2009 and over 20 percent from Q4 2008 to Q4 2009.

“Volume was definitely not the issue in the fourth quarter,” states Tamaryn Pratt, principal, Quixel Research.

“Strong sales were the underpinning for the 44 percent revenue increase in the fourth quarter; however, harsh price erosion has ultimately caught up and for the first time, annual revenues declined for each of the technologies.”

In addition to the volume growth the category experienced, Quixel’s research also indicates how much the flat-panel television category is being affected by commodization. In its findings, Quixel reveals the Large Area Display (LAD) category’s value fell 10 percent from $19.1 billion in 2008 to $17.1 billion in 2009 and when comparing Q4 2008 to Q4 2009.

Showing America’s desire for flat-panel television products, the 40- to 42-inch screen size segment constituted almost 45 percent of the LAD market in volume for Q4 2009, and those figures are actually up 60 percent when supported by both LCD and Plasma TV sales. The 55-inch to sub 60 inch screen size segment grew the most in units from both Q3 2009 to Q4 2009 and 2008 to 2009 as 55-inch LCD TV and 58-inch Plasma TV models were more widely available during the year with subsequent price declines.

Other categories that experienced growth include the largest micro-display rear projection television (RPTV), which saw the 70 inch and above size segment increase 21 percent annually.



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