According to DisplaySearch, now part of IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS), public display shipments grew 16% Y/Y in Q3’14, and LCD public display shipments alone grew 18%, while plasma public display shipments were negligible, as many plasma products were phased out. Annual public display shipments began to improve in Q2’14 and grew 3% Q/Q in Q3’14, which is the market’s highest quarterly growth rate over the past six quarters.
Based on the latest findings in the DisplaySearch Quarterly FPD Public Display Shipment and Forecast Report, the average size of global public displays shipped also reached a record high of 48.9” in Q3’14. Shipments of 65” and 70” public displays increased due to growing demand for interactive white boards (IWB) in the education markets in China and Eastern Europe.
Rapidly falling prices for large-screen displays partly encouraged a rapid shift in the market, with 60″-and-larger public displays replacing tiled 46″ and 47″ LCD displays. “Steep discounts offered by consumer TV brands during the holiday season in the United States are expected put heavy price pressure on public display set manufacturers,” said Ken Park, senior analyst of Korean technology market research for DisplaySearch. “This trend will be especially relevant to displays greater than 60″ and may urge B2B display manufacturers promote cheaper entry-level public displays in the fourth quarter, to ward off competition from consumer TVs.”
Emerging regions maintained strong unit-growth momentum, while advanced regions fell short of single-digit growth in Q3’14. Due in large part to the ongoing Fatih project, sponsored by the Turkish government, Eastern Europe was the leading growth market for public displays in Q3, up 204% Y/Y. Led by increasing popularity of IWBs and the lagging effect of the World Cup in Brazil, Latin America was the next strongest region, up 35% Y/Y. The Middle East and Africa (MEA) region followed in Q3’14, up 15% Y/Y. China’s growth slowed, after two quarters of double-digit growth.
The top five brands still dominate the public display market, with more than 50% of the total global shipment share, while the share for non-branded public displays remained steady, at approximately 40% of the market.
While leading brands are significantly increasing their average public display sizes, some companies are also looking for new growth opportunities in small sizes. Samsung, for example, recently launched new 22” public display products, as an alternative to the A3 tabloid and letter-sized paper signs that are commonly used for retail signage, bulletin boards in schools, and menu boards, in the analog signage market. Planar and Toshiba have also recently entered the small-sized public display market.