“Demand in many developed countries continues to be very soft” so analysts at DisplaySearch have lowered their forecasts for the total worldwide television shipments for this year. The new figure is 252 million units, which is down 3% from the previous estimate. Three percent doesn’t sound like much until you realize that represents more than 7 million sets with a total value that is probably more than a few billion dollars.
Consumers in North America, Europe, and Japan have already replaced many of their older picture tube (CRT) televisions with new flat screen models, so with the slow economic recovery, they are less inclined to purchase a new TV. While growth is expected to be just about flat in the developed countries, the emerging markets of China, Latin America, and India are expected to post a healthy 6% growth in unit shipments over last year.
DisplaySearch also predicts that LCD technology will continue to dominate with an 84% share of the market. Its share will continue to grow, largely at the expense of the CRT share, though plasma’s share will continue to decline slowly from its current 7%.
What does this mean for you? Expect prices to decline this fall as manufacturers try to grab as much of the stagnant market as possible. There may be some bargains to be had among the plasma models — especially in the 50″ to 55″ sizes — but chances are good that you’ll be buying an LCD model.