Display market research firm Trendforce is maintaining its forecast for full-year 2023 global TV shipments to dip 1.5% from 2022 levels, behind continued rising TV panel prices and uncertain global economic projections.

The Taiwan-based firm is now projecting global TV shipments of all resolution levels to reach 198 million units. The analyst said first half 2023 global TV shipments hit 90.4 million units, marking a 3.5% YoY decline, despite a second quarter in which shipments surged 2.1% based on early ordering spurred by a projected increase of 3% to 4% for the North American market.

Trendforce said vendors and brands advanced their unit shipments in Q2 “to cut down on overall manufacturing costs” as they begain to stock up in advance of the holiday buying season.

However, “panel makers chose to maintain the surge in TV panel prices by controlling production as Q3 approached. Contrarily, brands, in their bid to sustain sales momentum, have not been able to transfer increased panel costs to consumers in the form of retail price hikes,” the firm said.

Consequently, such conditions have driven many brands to the brink of financial losses for Q3, Trendforce observed.

“As international brands boost shipments gearing up for end-of-year celebrations, and with China’s Double 11 shopping festival stocking peaking at the end of September, an 11.9% increase in Q3 TV shipments is anticipated, amounting to 52.24 million units,” according to the announcement.

Despite this, the anticipated shipment volume will fall 1.3% short of TrendForce’s previous estimates.

“The persistent rise in panel prices in 2H23 will compel brands to trim down on less profitable product lines. Consequently, the annual global TV shipment forecast has been revised downward to 198 million units, a 1.5% YoY decrease,” Trendforce reported.

Meanwhile, a continuous Q3 surge in TV panel prices is causing major brands to reconsider their purchasing strategies and panel makers have harnessed production to stabilize costs and revamp their financial positions this year.

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After TV panels 55 inches and under achieved a profit-making price threshold at the end of June, panels sized 65 and 75 inches are chiefly produced on the 10.5-generation line are expected to now reach profitability levels, and prices for 50, 55, and 65-inch panels are expected to climb more than 50% this year.

However, TV retail prices in North America have not followed the pattern, with prices even decreasing on certain models. Trendforce warned that this indicates a squeeze on brands’ profit margins.

“While major TV brands are eyeing a seasonal 6.8% growth for Q3 panel purchases, it’s noticeably less than what was initially chalked out,” the analyst said. “With peak procurement for TV panels in September, Q4 projections anticipate a further 7.3% reduction.”

Meanwhile, Trendforce observed sluggish demand in the mid-to-high-end markets as both OLED and 8K TV shipments tumble in 2023.

The global economic outlook for the second half of 2023 continues to be enigmatic, which continues to impinge high-end product demand.

Trendforce said sales for both OLED and 8K TVs have seen a widening dip with more mainstream technologies.

“In particular, OLED TV shipments are predicted to land at 5.44 million units, marking a 19.3% YoY decrement,” Trendforce predicted.

OLED market leader LG Electronics has experienced a market share contraction to 53.6%, according to the data.

Samsung Electronics, in its drive to take over the global OLED TV market, has passed Sony for second place, and is expected a 17.1% market share.

Trendforce said Sony, due to its intense focus on mid-to-high-tier models over the past few years, is now grappling with challenges from both LCD and OLED TV shipments.

“Its OLED TV market share is speculated to contract to 15.1%, thereby settling at third place,” Trendforce said of the Japanese CE giant.

Meanwhile, the 8K TV market continues to be limited by a combination of the dearth of native 8K content and hefty product pricing. The category is therefore predicted to see a 25.4% YoY plunge in shipments, falling to a mere 300,000 units.

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By Greg Tarr

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