LCD TV Demand Slows in 2015, After Strong 2014

LCD TV shipments were up more than 7% worldwide last year, says IHS DisplaySearch. Developed regions exhibited improved demand, although growth slowed in emerging markets. IHS has lowered its forecast for the coming year, to just 4% growth (235 million sets), as demand falls in developed regions.

The strong mature market growth of last year, which was higher than expected, is difficult to maintain, noted IHS’s Paul Gagnon. It was mainly driven by a release of pent-up demand and a wave of screen-size upgrades by consumers.

Many countries are facing economic challenges this year, especially currency deflation. TV retail prices are expected to fall more slowly, and may increase if deflation becomes severe. Demand could fall for discretionary spending, especially in Eastern Europe; IHS has lowered its forecast for this region by 18% YoY. Despite this, growth is forecast to remain above 2013 levels.

Continued TV upgrades will also boost UltraHD LCD TV shipments. 11.7 million of these sets were shipped last year – close to the 12.3 million forecast at the start of 2014. With 1920 x 1080 prices falling rapidly, UltraHD is a new premium feature in most regions – helping to soften overall price declines. IHS expects UltraHD LCD and OLED sets to exceed 30 million unit shipments in 2015; more than 60% of these will be 50″+.

Looking at price-per-inch, the average premium for UltraHD models (compared to 1920 x 1080 sets) will fall from, 143% to sub-100% this year. Gagnon commented that IHS expects 1920 x 1080 resolution to start to fade among the largest screen sizes this year.