Global LCD TV Shipments Fell 20.9% in First Quarter Due to Weak Demand, Says TrendForce

3 May

Global shipments of LCD TV sets in the first quarter of 2016 totaled about 48.32 million units, according to the latest report by WitsView, a division of TrendForce. This figure represents a 20.9% quarterly decline and also a 6.3% year-on-year drop. In addition to first quarter being the off season in the U.S. and Europe, the uncertain global economic outlook and the saturation of the Chinese TV market have put significant pressure on the overall LCD TV shipments.

Ricky Lin, WitsView research manager, said the February earthquake that damaged Innolux’s panel fabs in southern Taiwan, along with the issues that Samsung Display (SDC) has with its 0.4mm glass production, will affect the product launch schedules of new branded TV sets in the second quarter. Nonetheless, WitsView expects TV set shipments in the second quarter to grow 6.6% to 51.5 million units. This projected quarterly increase is mainly attributed to the shorter base period of the first quarter.

The annual shipment outlook remains bleak on account of market saturation and generally weak demand. WitsView has marked down the shipment forecast for 2016, from 222 million to 219 million units. The projected annual growth rate has also been lowered to 1.5%.

Samsung’s shipments registered a sharp drop of 34.4% while Hisense benefitted from Sharp’s brand name license to become No. 3

Samsung managed to cling on to the top spot in the shipment ranking despite suffering a 34.4% quarterly decline to 10.5 million units shipped. Samsung had to delay the shipments of its new TV models because of problems with SDC’s 0.4mm production and the panel supply disruption caused by Taiwan’s earthquake.

LG Electronics (LGE) was ranked second place with 7.1 million units, representing a 13.4% drop from the previous quarter. Seasonality and weak sales depressed LGE’s TV shipments during the period.

Hisense shipped 3.47 million units in the first quarter and took the No. 3 spot away from the compatriot brand TCL, which shipped 3.2 million units. The Chinese brand concentrated on developing overseas market and struck a profitable deal with Sharp, in which Hisense acquired Sharp’s factory in Mexico and the license to sell TVs in Americas under Sharp’s brand name. The Chinese brand is now reaping the rewards of its efforts.

Sony’s shipments have fallen significantly in recent years as the brand has shifted its focus from volume to margin. The Japanese TV vendor was knocked out of the top five by Skyworth in the first-quarter ranking and registered a quarterly drop of over 30%. Japanese brands on the whole will gradually lose market shares to the rapidly growing Chinese brands.

Lin said a recent notable trend in the TV market has been the rise of the Chinese Internet brands. By offering affordable premium products online, these Internet brands have seized much of the domestic market and upended the strategies of established TV makers. Due to changes in business model and consumer habits, holiday sales will not be as a powerful force as before in the clearing of inventories. Lin expects North America become the next target market of the Internet brands. LeTV’s recent investments in TCL’s subsidiary, TCL Multimedia Technology, is an indication of this ambition.



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