For the first time ever, LCD television shipments were down in 2012.
During 2012, 203 million LCD TVs shipped worldwide, according to NPD DisplaySearch, representing a 1 percent decline compared to the prior year. The fourth quarter was the only period that saw shipments rise year over year, but it could only muster a 0.6 percent gain.
The LCD market's troubles came in developed markets, where demand fell by 18 percent compared to 2011, according to NPD. Demand was down, the researcher said, because of a continuing weakness in the global economy, as well as very little price erosion -- selling prices fell just 2 percent last year.
As if LCD performance wasn't bad enough, NPD reported that plasma shipments fell off a cliff, dropping 23 percent compared to 2011. All told, 233 million televisions were shipped worldwide last year, a 6 percent decline compared to the 249 million that shipped in 2011.
Despite all of the bad news, there may be a silver lining in the television market this year. In January,, up from 63,000 last year.
One other note from NPD's findings: Samsung was the world's top flat-panel maker, scoring 27.7 percent market share last year -- its highest yet. Samsung's 2011 market share ended at 25 percent.