Market watchers had warned in July that LCD TV panel demand was severely weakened. Last week, confirmation of those worries came, with estimates showing that worldwide LCD panel shipments fell year-over-year during the third quarter. Now, a new report is showing that all flat-panel manufacturers, not just LCD panel makers, may be facing a rough year.
Market research firm IHS today estimated that global flat-panel shipments fell year-over-year during July after also falling in June. This included combined shipment number of LCD panels and plasma panels. The firm estimated that around 14.88 million flat-panel displays were shipped during July, down 6.3% from July 2012. IHS predicts these declines will continue until at least the end of October, but that shipments will pick up during the holiday season.
“Last year was the first time that global flat-panel TV shipments failed to grow, following a decade of blockbuster expansion and runaway success,” said Jusy Hong, senior analyst for consumer electronics & technology at IHS. “This year as recently as May, it appeared that the flat-panel TV market might pull off a rebound even if growth would have been marginal at less than 1 percent. However, with any increase unlikely to take place even in the fourth quarter, it appears more likely that TV shipments will post another year of decline in 2013. If so, this would make it the second year in a row that flat-panel TV shipments retrench - an unthinkable prospect just a few years back, during the flat-panel boom.”
Of course, the falling LCD shipments were a large portion of this decline. LCD panel shipments alone were estimated to IHS to be down 5.7% from the same month last year. Plasma displays, however, were not immune to the decline. The IHS report shows that plasma panel shipments were down a whopping 15.8% to just 781,000 units in July.