I remember as a kid debating with friends what would happen if every person in China stood on a chair and jumped down to the floor at the same instant. We never came up with a satisfying answer (are there any seismologists in the audience who’d care to chime in?), but we know now what would happen if a lot of them decide to buy televisions at same time. According to a new report by DisplaySearch, China is forecast to become the single largest market for LCD TVs by 2012. Chinese consumers have about 450 million color CRT sets that were bought in the 1990s and will likely be replaced in the next five to 10 years. There also are large numbers of first-time buyers entering the market.
It is interesting to note that the growth in total market share comes at the expense of North America, Western Europe, and Japan. While China will remain a major market segment, the forecast also calls for growth in Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Mid-East and Africa markets, all of which have developing countries with growing middle class segments that are likely to increase the demand for television sets.