DisplaySearch reported plasma TV shipments soaring in Q4 2004, rising 67% QTQ and 173% YTY to a record 1.1 mln TVs. The analysts attribute the remarkable growth to strong holiday demand, supported by lower prices and rising interest in flat panel TVs and HDTVs. For the 2004 year, plasma TV shipments rose 155% to 2.8 mln units.
Blended plasma TV prices were down more than 20% YTY in Q4 2004 to $3,315 from over $4,200 one year earlier. Plasma TV growth surged worldwide with record results earned in all regions. Plasma TV shipments rose at least 48% sequentially in all regions with China growing the fastest, up 146% QTQ and 526% YTY. Europe overtook North America on 238% to 146% YTY growth to enjoy a 35% to 32% share advantage supported by lower penetration of rear and front projection TVs. Japan had the highest HD plasma TV penetration at 93% in Q4 2004, significantly higher than North America at 42% and Europe at 38% with Japanese brands focusing on the higher resolution and higher margin formats.
Panasonic remained the leading plasma TV brand with a 19% share. It led the plasma TV market in Japan and North America and held double-digit shares in Europe, China and rest of world (ROW). It had the highest share at 37" ED worldwide and was #2 at 37" HD, 42"-43" HD, 50" HD and 60"+. LG Electronics remained #2 growing its share to 14.5%, leading in ROW and earning the #2 position in Europe. It was #1 in the dominant 42" ED market as well as at 60"+. Samsung overtook Sony to become #3 with a 12% share on strong positions in all regions except Japan. Philips jumped from #6 to #4 on over 100% QTQ growth due to its strong position in Europe where it was the #1 plasma TV brand. Sony, Hitachi and Pioneer rounded out the top 7. Sony led at 37" HD, Hitachi led at 32" and 55" and Pioneer was #1 at 42"-43" HD and 50".