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LCD and plasma screens build pressure on CRT markets

28 Feb 2008

Shipments of LCD TVs overtook CRT for the first time in 2007, as yearly revenues for the complete television sector exceeded $100 billion.

Market penetration of liquid crystal displays (LCDs) into the television market increased in every geographic region during 2007, as the technology positioned itself to replace cathode-ray tubes (CRTs) in small and medium-sized TVs.

According to a report published by DisplaySearch, more than 28 million LCD units were shipped last year, representing 47% of the world market for new screens and an increase of 56% from the previous year. Fourth-quarter revenues for the entire TV sector rose 26% from the previous quarter to a record $32 billion, and contributed strongly to a full-year sector worth $100 billion.

Key findings from the report included:

Regional growth. The strongest unit growth for LCDs was in developing regions, where penetration is low and the growth potential is substantial. Latin America, Asia Pacific, and Middle East & Africa regions rose by a combined 106% year-on-year. Growth in developed regions included 84% in Western Europe, 78% in America and 86% in Japan.

Plasma market share under pressure at the largest sizes. Plasma display panel (PDP) TV shipments rose by a more modest 29% last year with screens smaller than 42" now the biggest growth area for this technology, assisted by LCD supply and pricing constraints. PDP's historic lead in screens from 50" to 54" has been eroded however, as LCDs share of this large-screen sector has risen sharply from 44% to 65%.

Rear-projection displays are still a North American speciality. Because of substantial price advantages over LCD and PDP, microdisplay rear-projection (MD RP) TVs are the dominant technology at screen sizes above 55". But there is also stiff competition from plasma and LCDs in this sector, with sales of MD RP systems falling by 60% compared to last year. This sector is highly regionalized, with some 92% of shipments being made in North America.

Samsung remains the leading brand. Support for all four display technologies, including CRT, allows Samsung to reach a wide addressable market, and the company has also managed to maintain a higher average price. These factors allowed the Korean manufacturer to retain the top brand revenue share for the eighth successive quarter.

Sony is the leader in LCD screens. The Japanese group overtook Samsung to achieve a 19% revenue share, and rose to number one on a unit basis in North America for the first time. Sony's revenue growth of 61% quarter-on-quarter was nearly twice the growth of the LCD sector as a whole.

LGE leads in Latin America, Middle East & Africa. By virtue of its strong position in these regions, LGE maintained its position as the number three brand overall. The company also had the top CRT TV unit and revenue share worldwide, which remains an important category in developing markets.

Quarterly Global TV Shipment and Forecast Report is available from DisplaySearch.

HÜBNER PhotonicsAlluxaABTechMad City Labs, Inc.TRIOPTICS GmbHLaCroix Precision OpticsSPECTROGON AB
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