Soaring TV prices grow at fastest rate in over a decade

Mike Wheatley

Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics are said to be milking the benefits of soaring TV prices that have resulted from a worldwide shortage of semiconductor chips and components for LCD panels.


The Korea Economic Daily said the companies have increased their TV prices in South Korea by more in the previous 12 months than at any other time in the last decade. According to regulatory filings made on September 3, Samsung has increased the price of a typical 55-inch LCD TV by 23% in the last year. Meanwhile, LG is said to have raised its prices by 19.5%.

The report adds the average cost of a 55-inch LCD TV in South Korea had risen to 1.5 million won (£935) in August, up from 1.2 million won (£735) in January.

Since 2011 TV prices have generally been on a downward trend, partly due to the growing prominence of Chinese display panel makers that have more or less taken over the market for LCD TV panels. For example, the price of a 55-inch LCD panel in November 2019 fell to an average of £73, down from £101 in January of that year.

However, with the outbreak of COVID-19 causing various shutdowns across the globe that impacted manufacturing and supply chain operations worldwide, the cost of LCD TV panels has soared. In July 2021 a 55-inch LCD TV panel was selling for as much as £168, more than double what it cost at the end of 2019. In turn, that has lifted TV prices too.

“The prices of display panels for TVs and monitors surged about 66% from a year earlier,” Samsung said in its most recent, second quarter earnings call.

TV prices have been lifted further by an acute shortage of semiconductor chips. That has caused the price of silicon to rise by about 30% from a year ago. Numerous TV manufacturers have reported difficulties in securing Display Driver ICs, which are another essential component of LCD TVs.

Market watchers says it’s not only South Korea that will be affected and that TV prices will rise even more in future, even though the price of LCD TV panels dipped in August. Supply chains are still being disrupted by ongoing COVID-related shutdowns in Vietnam, where many TV brands have manufacturing facilities.

At the same time, TV makers, including Samsung and LG, have switched their focus to more premium products that have higher profit margins. LG for example, is manufacturing and selling more OLED TVs than ever before, while Samsung has been pushing its Mini-LED TVs, MicroLED TVs and from next year will start selling QD-OLED TVs too.