DisplaySearch indicated that global LCD TV shipments jumped 69% QTQ and 134% YTY in Q4 2004 to a record 3.6 mln units. For the year, LCD TV shipments grew 123% to 8.8 mln TVs. Lower street prices supported the rapid Q4 2004 growth with many size categories experiencing double-digit sequential pricing declines. The lower LCD TV prices were achieved through significant panel price reductions resulting from lower panel costs from new capacity optimized for LCD TV production as well as a rising TFT LCD surplus caused by record capital spending and weakness in the Q3 LCD monitor panel market.
LCD TV demand surged worldwide with all regions enjoying at least 41% sequential growth. Europe remained the single largest region for LCD TVs with a 38% share on 86% QTQ and 216% YTY growth. Japan remained the second largest region with a 27% share followed by North America at 26%, China at 4% and rest of world (ROW) at 5%. All size categories enjoyed at least 52% growth with 15"-19" LCD TVs overtaking 20"-21" as the leading size category with a 25% to 23% share advantage benefiting from cost conscious holiday buyers. 26" and larger LCD TVs also gained ground, rising from 34% to 36% of the market as prices fall.
There were significant regional differences with the average LCD TV diagonal at 20" in North America and at least 22" - 23' in other regions due to North America's acceptance of smaller TVs in kitchens, dens, dorms, additional bedrooms, etc. Sharp remained the dominant LCD TV brand with a 22% share, down from 28% as competition intensifies. Philips remained #2 with its share rising from 11% to 15% on strong growth at 15" through its Magnavox brand and a strong position in Europe and North America. Sony remained #3 with its share rising from 10% to 11%.