Covid-19 headwinds blow global TV shipments off course | 4K/UltraHD | News | Rapid TV News
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The TV components industry was one of the first to suffer from the effects of Covid-19 and research from WitsView shows that as a result global TV shipments are expected to undergo a 5.8% decrease year-on-year (YOY) and reach 205.21 million units by the end of 2020.
The TrendForce-owned analyst says that in the shrinking TV market, brands are vying for business growth by demonstrating their technical superiority, and this may be achieved through either improving specifications or differentiating their products. It notes that in particular, thanks to the marketing push of leading manufacturer Samsung Visual Display, QLED TV shipment is projected to grow by 41.8% YoY, reaching 8.27 million units this year.

According to the research, the general public in many regions are issued stay-at-home orders because of the pandemic, there has been a surge in the demand for TVs that are 43” inches and smaller, which are suitable for working from home usages. In addition it says that the longer time spent at home means the public now also spends more time watching TV. The demand for a better viewing experience unexpectedly resulted, said WitsView, in a wave of replacement demand for 65” TVs by the end of April this year.

WitsView noted that owing to its technical and cost advantages, in 2019 Samsung Visual Display was able to not only occupy more than 90% share of the QLED TV market, but also drive up the overall QLED TV shipment to 5.83 million units, a 230% increase YoY.

In spite of the downturn in global TV shipment this year, the analysis showed that the market for QLED products thrived on the flourishing stay-at-home economy as well as the sales promotions of Samsung Visual Display’s older models in Q120, which resulted in retail price cuts of more than 20% for 65-inch QLED TVs in the North American market, creating a wave of replacement demand for new TV sets. WitsView highlighted Huawei as making a major push with QLED product development in 2020 as its entry point into the high-end TV market. The company is expected to compete with Vizio for the number two spot in terms of QLED TV shipment this year.

While being cautiously optimistic for QLED, the analyst warned that the OLED TV market faces the dual headwinds of hindered panel supply and high retail prices. It stated that OLED TV panel manufacturer LG Display previously intended for its Gen 8.5 OLED fab in Guangzhou to begin mass production in Q120, but this plan did not take place on schedule because of technical constraints. Furthermore, the mid-January onset of Covid-19 in China compelled Korean employees who performed technical roles at the Guangzhou fab to return to Korea. These technical workers would not recommence their work at the fab until April, in turn delaying LGD’s mass production of OLED panels.

With both market leader LG Electronics and Sony revising down their shipment targets for OLED TVs this year, the research projects OLED TV shipments to increase by only 7.8% YoY in 2020, for a total of 3.375 million units, which is a 26.1% decrease from the original number forecasted at the start of 2020. Aside from the pandemic-induced slowdown in OLED demand, WitsView says that the more flexible pricing of QLED products will also represent a substantial threat to the sales of OLED TVs this year, since the latter have historically maintained a high retail price.