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Global LCD TV shipments managed to grow in 2009, despite the worst economic recession in decades, market research firm DisplaySearch reported.
Shipments of the flat-panel sets, which account for the majority of TV sales, will rise 1% year-over-year in 2009 to 140.5 million units, DisplaySearch said. Driving sales is demand in China, where people are replacing their old CRT TVs, and large price declines in Western Europe and North America.
Prices for most screen sizes fell from 20% to 30% year-over-year in 2009, with the overall average LCD TV price falling 24%, which is twice the rate of decline in 2008.
"The price declines are a strong influence on the robust demand, but are coming at the expense of profitability for many in the supply chain, especially at the brand and reseller level," DisplaySearch researcher Paul Gagnon said in a statement.
LCD TV shipments next year are expected to reach 171 million units, a 22% increase over 2009. While 2009 saw strong demand for LCD TVs with screen sizes less than 40 inches and prices near or below $500, 2010 is expected to see market share increases by sets with larger screen sizes.
To raise average selling prices, DisplaySearch expects manufacturers next year to push advanced technologies, such as LED backlights and 3D, to lure people into buying premium LCD TVs with higher price points.
Meanwhile, overall shipments of TVs, including CRT, LCD and plasma sets, rose in the third quarter for the first time in a year, a sign that the market was on the mends, DisplaySearch said. If revenues increase as expected in the first quarter of 2010, it'll mark the first year-over-year quarterly rise for the market as a whole in six quarters.
For the full year, overall TV shipments will reach 205 million units, down 1% from 2008, the researcher said. Next year, shipments are expected to rise 6% to 218 million units.