LCD TV shipments up, but growth slowing

LCDs are still the most-desired TVs around the world, but year-over-year shipments rose just 9 percent in the first quarter, down from previous growth rates.

Don Reisinger
CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
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LCD shipments are up, but growth is slowing.
LCD shipments are up, but growth is slowing. DisplaySearch

LCD televisions are the most-desired sets around the globe, but their sales growth is starting to slow, according to a report today from research firm DisplaySearch.

During the first quarter of 2011, over 44.2 million LCD televisions were shipped worldwide, earning the technology 80.1 percent ownership of the overall TV market. Though year-over-year growth was up by 9 percent, DisplaySearch said that rate was "the weakest year over year growth ever for LCD TV, and the only quarter with single-digit growth." By comparison, in the first quarter of 2010, LCD shipments were up 50 percent compared to the same period a year earlier.

Plasmas were able to secure the second spot in the television market last quarter with over 3.6 million sets shipped worldwide. That figure was up 6 percent year over year.

LED-backlit sets are also becoming more popular. In fact, DisplaySearch found that LED-backlit displays represented 35 percent of all LCD shipments (about 15 million units) during the first quarter, up from the 30 percent of LCD shipments they made up in the fourth quarter. During the first quarter of 2010, just 3 million LED (light-emitting diode) LCD units were shipped.

Another increasingly important technology in the TV space, 3D, is also gaining ground, DisplaySearch found. During the first quarter, 3D sets made up 12 percent of all television revenue worldwide, and 20 percent in the U.S. However, 3D sets made up just 4 percent of all shipments worldwide last quarter.

All told, 55 million televisions, including CRTs and OLED (organic light-emitting diode) TVs, in addition to LCDs and plasmas, were shipped worldwide during the first quarter. The total worldwide television market was up 1 percent, according to DisplaySearch.

On the vendor side, DisplaySearch found that Samsung reigned supreme in the quarter with 22.2 percent market share. LG and Sony rounded out the top three with 14.5 percent and 11.4 percent worldwide market share, respectively.