Market Watch

iSuppli Ranks the Top TV Sellers in North America and Japan

April 18, 2005

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While the advent of new display technologies has reignited worldwide television sales growth, it also has spurred fragmentation in the TV market, causing the rankings of the top TV makers to vary depending on set-type and region.

TV Market Picture Gets Bigger, Brighter
Worldwide television sales are expected to increase to 171.6 million in 2005, up 3.2 percent from 166.3 million in 2004, according to iSuppli Corp. Propelled by surging sales of LCD, plasma and rear-projection sets, the global television market will rise at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 5.3 percent from 2004 to 2009 to reach 215.5 million units in size. Plasma TV will enjoy the fastest growth among all types of sets, with sales rising to 18.2 million units in 2009, increasing at a CAGR of 54.6 percent from 2.1 million in 2004, iSuppli predicts. Sales of rear-projection television sets, a category consisting of CRT, LCD and microdisplay technologies, will grow to 11.97 million units in 2009, with sales expanding at a CAGR of 15.4 percent from 5.8 million in 2004. The CRT-based TV market has begun to contract due to competition from the newer display technologies, with sales declining to 131.6 million in 2009, representing a CAGR decrease of 2.5 percent from 149.6 million in 2004.

Different Countries, Different Buying Habits
Between the regions of the world, dissimilar consumer trends have led to variances in the popularity of different types of sets–and have spurred disparities in the rankings of top TV makers. In the North American market, the motto for consumers is "bigger is better" when buying a primary television set. Because of this, North American consumers have been more receptive to plasma and new-generation rear-projection sets than have buyers in other regions. Meanwhile, because of their present size limitations and higher price points, LCD-TVs are less popular among North American consumers compared to Japanese customers. In contrast, Japanese consumers are more willing to pay higher prices for new-technology TVs. Thus, LCD-TVs have gained quick acceptance and adoption in Japan because of their form-factor advantages, which allow them to fit well into constrained living spaces.

Sharp Rules the North-American LCD-TV Market
With the vast array of choices of brand names, the market share of top LCD-TV makers is highly fragmented in North America. Established brands took the top-two LCD-TV market-share positions in the fourth quarter of 2004, with Sharp Corp. holding onto the lead with 21.1 percent of unit sales, and Panasonic coming in a distant second with a 7.95 percent share. However, a less-well-known brand, Syntax Groups Corp., took the third rank just behind Panasonic with 7.15 percent of sales. The company moved up from the fourth rank in the third quarter to displace consumer-electronics giant Sony Corp. Syntax is a relatively new entrant into the market, but it has achieved significant success with its value-oriented line of LCD-TVs.

Growing Demand for Flat TV in Japan
Consumers in Japan are aggressively adopting flat panel TVs–specifically LCD TVs–because of their attractive form factors. iSuppli forecasts that in 2006, LCD TV shipments will surpass those of CRT-based televisions in Japan, making LCD the most dominant direct-view TV technology in the nation. Sharp remained the top supplier of LCD-TVs in Japan in the fourth quarter, with a commanding 37.4 percent of sales. However, Sharp has seen its share of Japanese sales decline as other OEMs aggressively enter this market. Taiwanese and Korean brands are flowing into the Japanese LCD-TV market, eroding the share of Sharp and others. However, these foreign brands still have not been able to shake the domination of the Japanese OEMs.
  • How much will the markets for various types of rear-projection technology TVs grow in the coming years?
  • Which companies will dominate the various rear-projection segments?
  • Which companies are leading the CRT and rear-projection segments in Japan?
  • What sizes of televisions are most popular among consumers in various regions?

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