A report this week from DisplaySearch showed that the growth of global television shipments slowed in the third quarter of 2010, compared with the same period in 2009. Last year’s shipments over the prior year were up 26% for the third quarter, but this year, that figure shrank to just 9%. Weak sell-through at the retail level — especially in North America — has led to increased inventories.
DisplaySearch also points out that the lower prices for plasma HDTVs compared with LCD models of equivalent size has resulted in a 35% increase in unit shipments compared with the third quarter last year, but this still left the technology with only about one-tenth the number of units shipped for LCD televisions. Samsung, LGE, and Sony remain the top three flat panel TV brands worldwide.
The low growth in shipments indicates that consumer demand is still weak, which is to be expected under the current economic conditions faced by most consumers. The retailers are clearly doing what they can to spur sales, as we saw last week on Black Friday with 32″ models available for under $200 and a 40″ LCD HDTV under $300. It’s not clear yet how strong the HDTV sales were on Black Friday, but it would appear that there are still plenty of sets in inventory as the bargain advertisements continue. If you’re still waiting to buy a new HDTV, you should expect to strike a good bargain between now and New Year’s.