LCD TV Growth To Slow In '07


SAN FRANCISCO — Rapid price declines will slow LCD TV revenue growth in 2007, according to projections from market research firm iSuppli Corp.

Worldwide LCD TV factory revenue will rise by 20 percent in 2007, expanding to $53.5 billion, up from $44.7 billion in 2006, according to iSuppli. This represents a 56 percentage point decrease in growth compared to 2006, when LCD TV revenue increased by 76 percent, the firm said.

Global LCD-TV shipments will rise to 62.5 million units in 2007, up 57 percent from 39.7 million in 2006, according to the firm. This 57 percent growth would be down dramatically from 95 percent growth in 2006, iSuppli (El Segundo, Calif.) said.

According to iSuppli, the projected slowdown is attributed to the large volume of LCD TVs, which makes it difficult to maintain dramatic growth on an annual basis.

"Regardless of the slowdown, the LCD TV market remains in a phase of explosive growth, mainly due to booming sales of large-sized sets," said Riddhi Patel, principal analyst for televisions systems at iSuppli. "Because consumer interest has accelerated and with commitments from panel makers and OEMs, LCD panel makers are increasing their support for the large-screen television market by upping their capacity at seventh-generation and more advanced fabs."

According to Patel, a key focus for LCD TV retailers and manufacturers in 2007 will be the proliferation of 40-inch and larger sizes, as the cost of these televisions declines and their availability increases.

The number of 40-inch and larger LCD TV units shipped in 2007 will increase dramatically, iSuppli predicts. For LCD TVs in the 40-inch to 41-inch range, iSuppli forecasts manufacturers will ship 2.3 million units by the fourth quarter of 2007, up 60.3 percent from 1.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2006. For LCD-TVs in the 42-inch to 44-inch range, iSuppli forecasts shipments of 1.1 million units by the fourth quarter of 2007, up 87.7 percent from 594,000 in the fourth quarter of 2006.

Revenues for LCD TV manufacturers will continue to grow—despite declining average selling prices (ASPs), which have been falling quite rapidly over the past few quarters of 2006 and will persist through 2007, according to iSuppli.

The overall LCD TV ASP will decline at an average of 12.8 percent from 2006 to 2010, with the most evident decreases in the 35-inch and larger market, iSuppli said. Overall LCD TV revenue will rise at a compound annual growth rate of 17.2 percent during the same period, the firm said.

"Premium LCD-TV brands will benefit from sales increases due to these rapidly plunging prices," Patel said. "But value brands also stand to gain significantly."

Though Sharp Corp. continues to lead the LCD-TV market worldwide, it has lost its dominance to Philips and Samsung in the North American market and now is ranked No. 3 in that market, according to iSuppli. OEMs like Philips, Samsung and Sony are aggressive in reacting to the market needs and changes as well as maintaining aggressive pricing when compared to Sharp, the firm said.