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Sales of LCD TVs going like crazy

Shipments of liquid crystal display televisions jump in the first quarter, along with revenue.

The world is going bonkers for LCD TVs.

Shipments of LCD (liquid crystal display) televisions jumped 135 percent in the first quarter, compared with the same period last year, and allowed LCD TVs to account for 17 percent of all TVs shipped, up from 15 percent three months earlier, according to DisplaySearch.

Revenue from LCD TVs also grew, by 114 percent, and hit $8.8 billion. For the hardware industry, that's a somewhat rare result: Because of price-cutting, large increases in unit shipments typically lead to far more modest increases in revenue shipments.

The growth in revenue can be partly attributed to the fact that LCD TVs are growing in size. The average screen size, as measured by the diagonal length of the screen, grew by 19 percent in the first quarter compared with the same period a year ago. Customers snapped up more TVs in the first quarter measuring 37 inches or longer than they did the year before, DisplaySearch said.

LCD TVs overtook traditional CRT TVs in the market for 30- to 34-inch diagonal TVs for the first time. (CRT TVs, however, remain more popular overall.)

Rankings among vendors didn't change in the quarter. Philips, which sells TVs under its own name and the Magnavox brand, remained the number one LCD TV maker with 13.9 percent of the global market. Philips, however, was only number four in terms of revenue. By contrast, Sony was number four in units but number one in revenue by concentrating on large-screen LCD TVs.

Sharp passed Samsung, meanwhile, for second place in units. Samsung dropped to third.