This year will mark a first for the TV industry with iSuppli predicting the first ever fall for flat-panel TV shipments. If shipments do in fact fall this year it will be the first time growth has declined since the flat-panel TV market started. Forecasts predict a decline to 37.1 million units, which will be down 5% from the 39.1 million units shipped in 2011.
Shipments were up a scant 1% in 2011 compared to 38.6 million units shipped in 2010. The flat-panel TV market covers LCD TVs, plasma TVs, and rear projection TVs. iSuppli predicts that the market will decline for the next three years through at least 2015. This is one of the reasons that many flat-panel TV makers have been pushing the move to OLED TVs. A segment expected to grow over the coming years.
iSuppli expects TV makers to be very cautious this year after an overabundance of product on the market early in 2011 resulted in steep price cuts later in the year. Those steep price cuts severely damaged profits for all vendors in the flat-panel market. With TV makers being more cautious in 2012, profits are expected to rise even though shipments are declining. LCD TVs using LED backlighting are expected to dominate the market in 2012 for the first time getting a lead over older technology LCD TVs using CCFL backlights. LED backlit sets are expected to reach 23.7 million units with CCFL sets shipping 8.7 million.