NPD: TV shipments dropped in 2011 after six years of growth

The silver lining for the TV manufacturing industry is that at least global shipments didn't slip up by much -- just 0.3 percent to 247.7 million units -- held up mainly by LCD TVs.

Bad news for TV manufacturers: Worldwide shipment figures dropped in 2011 after six years of consecutive growth, according to NPD DisplaySearch.

The silver lining here might be that at least global shipments didn't slip up by much -- just 0.3 percent to 247.7 million units -- held up mainly by LCD TVs.

Paul Gagnon, NPD DisplaySearch's director of North America TV research, explained in the report that there are many factors for why demand in 2011 slowed down and results fell below industry expectations:

The low level of shipments were partially caused by excessive inventory levels early in 2011 for the US and European markets, as well as a sharp drop in demand in Japan following the end of the government sponsored Eco-Points program that caused a surge in replacement activity during 2009-2010.

Nevertehless, Gagnon added that LCD TV shipments did show growth with a 7 percent increase, year-over-year, to more than 205 million shipments in 2011.

Plasma TVs, on the other hand, just aren't doing as well as shipments instead dropped by 7 percent to 17.2 million units. 3DTVs actually seem to be doing better internationally, with an increase in shipments on an annual basis nearly everywhere except the United States.

As for the manufacturers themselves, Samsung lead the way in the fourth quarter of 2011 with 26.3 percent of the market share, followed by LG and Sony respectively. All three saw market share gains in Q4 2011, unlike the bottom two of the top five: Panasonic and Sharp.

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