US Flat-Panel TV Shipments To Drop For First Time Ever

Jonathan Sutton

A recent report has revealed that flat-panel TV shipments in the United States are projected to drop for the first time ever in 2012, which will bring to an end the continuous growth that has been seen since the market began. It is predicted that there will be a decline of 5 percent in terms of shipments of flat-panel televisions into the American market compared to last year, which will bring the units shipped down to 37.1 million.

Flat-panel TV shipment
US flat-panel TV shipments to drop for first time ever

The data comes from the latest U.S. TV Market Tracker report published by market research firm IHS iSuppli, which also showed that in 2011 flat-screen television shipments had increased slightly for yet another year, rising by 1 percent to 39.1 million units compared to 2010, when 38.6 million units were shipped. Of course, the projected fall in 2012 is much higher than the growth that was seen last year, which means that it will wipe out not only last year’s gain, but also that of previous years.

Whilst last year saw shipments of flat-panel TVs peak, industry officials now believe that shipments will continue to drop for the next three years or so until 2015, although this could continue beyond that time.

IHS TV research analyst Lisa Hatamiya said that even at the height of the recession, US flat-panel television market had never declined on an annual basis. She stated that “The decline starting this year suggests that demand may have crested for the mature U.S. TV market.” She added that the driving force behind sales in the USA at the moment is viewers replacing their older TV sets with more advanced HDTV models that are equipped with greater features.

Another factor that is expected to contribute to this year’s drop in shipment levels is the over-optimism of television brands last year, with many increasing shipments in the first quarter only to find that the demand was far lower than they had anticipated.