LCD televisions saw shipments decline for the first time in 2012, but Ultra HD might come to the rescue.
Is Ultra HD the saviour of TV?
During 2012, 203 million LCD TVs shipped worldwide, according to NPD DisplaySearch, representing a 1 per cent decline compared to the prior year. The fourth quarter was the only period that saw shipments rise year on year, but it could only muster a 0.6 per cent gain.
The LCD market's troubles came in developed markets where demand fell by 18 per cent compared to 2011, according to NPD. Demand was down, the researcher said, because of a continuing weakness in the global economy, as well as very little price erosion — selling prices fell just 2 per cent last year.
As if LCD performance wasn't bad enough, NPD reported that plasma shipments fell off a cliff, dropping 23 per cent compared to 2011. All told, 233 million televisions were shipped worldwide last year, a 6 per cent decline compared to the 249 million that shipped in 2011.
Despite all of the bad news, there may be a silver lining in the television market this year. In January, NPD said that Ultra HD television shipments will hit 2.6 million this year, up from 63,000 last year.
One other note from NPD's findings: Samsung was the world's top flat-panel maker, scoring 27.7 per cent market share last year — its highest yet. Samsung's 2011 market share ended at 25 per cent.