Omdia: TV set shipments “surprise’ in the third quarter of 2020 | 4K/UltraHD | News | Rapid TV News
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With overall shipments posted a growth of 15% over a year earlier, totalling 62.9 million units, 10.5% above forecast, Q3 2020 saw research firm Omdia’s highest-ever third quarter result for TV set unit sales.
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The total represented double-digit growth from the same period in the previous year and said the analyst such shipments were continuing a trend of robust demand in developed regions. It added that Covid-19 countermeasures have increased the value of home entertainment while also removing other expenditure such a commuting, meals out and vacations. As a result, many households have extra money to spend on entertainment upgrades. Yet considering all of 2020 to date, total shipments were down on 2019.

Looking at individual regions, Omdia noted that North America saw its best quarter ever, with what it called a “stunning” 16.4 million sets shipping the highest ever in any quarter since Omdia has been tracking the market. The next highest were in Q4 2011 and Q4 2018, both around 15.1 million. The next-largest third quarter result was 12.6 million in 2016. While the current increase said the analyst was partly due to refilling a depleted pipeline, it demonstrated renewed enthusiasm from consumers.

In Western Europe, shipments close to forecast of 7.6 million was the best third quarter since 2011 although not close to any fourth-quarter result. Japan, despite postponement of the Olympics, continues robust shipments similarly with a best third quarter since 2011.

China by contrast was found to have had a quiet quarter – while life and its supply chain returned to normal, demand was damped by sharp rises in LCD panel costs caused by extremely tight capacity in panel fabs. With price increases in LCD panels of up to 60% this year, consumers are seeing rising TV prices and reduced promotional activity. After a very weak second quarter, emerging markets were said to have also fared surprisingly well. With Covid-19 hitting them somewhat later, the quarter was likely to see disruption.

With regards to the story for TV display technologies, Omdia said that Ultra HD TVs also saw strong shipments, recovering ground lost in early 2020 when shipments of small (non-UHD) sets were strong. It was the second-best quarter ever, behind only the seasonally-strong fourth quarter of 2019. UHD resolutions accounted for 58.6% of all TVs shipped. Going up a notch, while 8K shipments proved better than forecast, they only accounted for 825,000 shipments. 8K shipment share was flat at 0.22% of all UHD and 0.13% of all TV shipments thus still not yet reaching breakthrough levels as a significant part of the TV market.

OLED TV shipments achieved their long-awaited growth as LG Display’s new fab in China added to the supply of such displays. Rising LCD panel prices will also reduce the cost pressure on OLED TVs. Smart TV penetration continued its steady progression, reaching a record 85.9% of all TVs shipped, up from 79.2% a year ago.

Assessing the trends revealed in the study, Paul Grey, senior research director, TV, at Omdia said it was clear that the current trend was more than just release of pent-up demand and inventory replenishment. “With the Northern Hemisphere winter and renewed lockdown measures, TV viewing is becoming more valuable to consumers. We can expect firm demand to continue at least until the end of the year,” de said. “So far, cost increases (principally on LCD panels) have not worked their way fully through to consumers. The coming months will see upward pressure on prices combined with the longer-term economic consequences of Covid-19 becoming apparent. Much will depend on whether other regions can repeat the V-shaped recovery seen in China.”