El Segundo, Calif. − Shipments of flat-panel TVs in the U.S. are projected to fall by seven percent in the second half of 2013 despite the holiday season as domestic demand continues on a downward track, according to IHS Inc. The market research firm projects that 20.1 million liquid-crystal display (LCD) and plasma TVs will ship in the U.S. during the second half of 2013, down from 21.6 million during the same period in 2012.
U.S. flat-panel TV shipments in 2013 are expected to fall to 34.1 million, down nine percent from 37.3 million in 2012, according to the latest IHS U.S. Television Market Tracker report. This follows a six percent loss in 2012.
“Driven by holiday sales, the second half of the year is always critical for determining the fate of the U.S. TV market,” said Veronica Thayer, analyst for consumer electronics and technology at IHS, in a statement. “However, even with TV brands offering lower prices during this year’s Black Friday than they did in 2012, sales in the second half will decelerate sharply.”
It’s getting tougher to sell flat-panel TVs in the U.S. with most households owning one or more sets. IHS expects price promotions on Black Friday to focus on larger screen sizes of 50-inches and larger, where there is greater demand. However, competition is expected to drive prices lower than last year for these TVs.
“When the promotions stop, TV purchasing will stop as well, because U.S. consumers are increasingly sensitive to price,” stated Thayer. “An IHS survey indicates that 43 percent of consumers now believe pricing is a major driver in their television purchasing decisions, up from 28 percent one year ago.”
While shipments of 55- to 59-inch flat-panel sets this year will surpass the 45- to 49-inch-size range in 2013 for the first time, shipments of smaller LCD TVs in the 30- to 34-inch range are expected to lose market share, falling from 32 percent in 2012 to 27 percent in 2013. IHS projects that shipments of these smaller LCD TVs will shrink to a 12 percent share in 2018 as they are replaced by big-screen TVs.
Another winner is light-emitting-diode (LED) backlighting, which has virtually replaced the older cold-cathode fluorescent lamp (CCFL) technology in LCD TVs, primarily due to the shrinking price gap between the two technologies. Shipments of LED-backlit TVs are expected to reach 28.1 million units, representing 88 percent of the LCD TV market, in 2013, according to IHS.