TV Sales to Drop For Second Year in a Row


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With 3D TV sets a failure and 4K TV content virtually nonexistent, TV manufacturers are offering nothing new to consumers this fall. Add in the fact that flat-panel and smart TV adoption has reached saturation levels in established markets, and manufacturers can look forward to a disappointing holiday quarter this year.

Market research firm IHS today released its prediction for the worldwide TV market for the year 2013. The firm estimates that TV shipments will fall to an estimated 226.7 million units this year - a 5% drop from the 238.2 million units shipped in 2012. This would make 2013 the second straight year that TV shipments have declined, after a 7% drop in shipments last year over the 255.2 million TVs shipped in 2011.

“A wide range of factors are conspiring to undermine television shipments in 2013, from economic weakness and market saturation of flat-panel TVs in mature regions, to plunging CRT sales in developing countries,” said Jusy Hong, senior analyst for consumer electronics & technology at IHS. “This is all adding up to a second consecutive year of decline for the television market.”

It's not only flat-panel LCD TV shipments that are expected to decline, though those popular models are expected to decline by at least 1%. IHS sees every type of TV in decline, including CRT and plasma displays. Sales of rear-projection TVs are expected to "dwindle to nothing," according to the firm.

In addition to mature markets becoming saturated, IHS is putting some of the TV decline on the continued global economic downturn. TV sales in Japan and Western Europe in particular have been declining for three years in a row. In addition, the disappearance of CRT TVs is causing consumers in emerging markets to think twice about more expensive flat-panel displays.