As Black Friday (News - Alert) looms for retail electronics, the television industry is seeing some positive news in the United States. Despite a 7 percent year-over-year dip in global TV shipments, retail sales in North America have been steady, if not exciting, and unit shipments were up almost 3 percent in the third quarter after posting small declines in the first half, boding well for the industry going into the holiday season.
That’s according to NPD DisplaySeach, which finds that the trend in the U.S. market has moved toward bigger and cheaper TVs, and that is also expected to be the focus during Black Friday this year.
“Procurement typically peaks at the end of Q3 for the upcoming holiday shopping season in the U.S.,” said Paul Gagnon, director of Global TV Research for NPD DisplaySearch. “Since many retailers are focusing on big opening sales during Black Friday and promotions during pre-Black Friday, inventory has been building overtime to a level that will satisfy the demand.”
He added, “Based on the early promotional prices released ahead of Black Friday, retailers seem quite aggressive in starting the holiday season strong for TV sales.”
North America had the lowest LED and 3D shipment penetration of any region worldwide in the third quarter, where consumers are most interested in screen size and price. Large screen sizes will continue to have strong growth in the market, with the average shipped TV size having increased more than 6 percent to 35.8 inches in the third quarter—the highest growth yet.
Meanwhile, the view globally isn’t quite as rosy. Worldwide TV shipments fell on a year-over-year basis for the fourth straight quarter, as demand in Japan and Western Europe fell sharply. TV shipments in Japan were down over 70 percent for the second quarter in a row, while Western Europe shipments fell more than 15 percent. Flat-panel TV growth in emerging regions were lower than expected, especially in Asia-Pacific, where the Indian TV market looks to decline in the third quarter, due to little retail set price erosion.
In terms of form factors, the research found that as plasma TV shipments continue to decline, LCD remains the dominant flat panel TV technology, capturing a 16 percent increase in unit shipments quarter over quarter. LED LCD TV shipments also continue to climb, exceeding 70 percent of units and 80 percent of revenues for total global TV shipments.
NPD DisplaySearch did note that TV shipments in China grew over 13 percent year-over-year in the third quarter, as set makers anticipated demand for TVs during the Golden Week holidays in October. Growth was also helped by the new energy efficiency rebate program that started in June. Both factors led Chinese TV makers to increase production.
With a growing share, the overall level of demand worldwide continues to fall in 2012, impacting LCD shipments. However, overall LCD TV unit sales fell in the third quarter, down 1 percent year over year. Tara Seals has over thirteen years of experience as a journalist. Her areas of expertise cover the waterfront of the service provider segment, especially mobile networks, devices and applications; and video infrastructure, content and broadcast models.
Edited by Stefanie Mosca