Global TV unit volume shipments (all resolutions) for the third quarter of 2022 reached 51.39 million units, up 12.4% from the previous quarter but down 2.1% for the same period last year, according to TrendForce.

The Tiawan-based market research firm said sales of television sets in all markets of the world continued to be impacted by “the shadow of rising inflation” which has constrained consumer product budgets, and indirectly inhibiting the willingness to purchase TV products.

To counter this going into the critical fourth quarter selling season, TV brands have launched large-scale promotions to help demand keep up with shipments.

As a result, TrendForce forecasts fourth quarter 2022 TV shipments to increase by 10.8% quarter over quarter to 56.96 million units, but the level will still be down -3.5% compared with the same period last year. If that prediction holds firm, it will mark a new low for the period.

“Under the influence of factors such as the Russia-Ukraine conflict, rising inflation, and interest rate hikes, global TV shipments in 2022 are estimated at only 202 million units, falling 3.8% year on year, to the lowest level in the past decade,” the researcch firm declared on Wednesday.

TrendForce further indicates that “due to easing supply and potential oversupply in 2023, there is little possibility of a sharp rise in prices for TV panels” — a key component of television sets.

“But this situation will help TV brands reduce cost pressures and increase the flexibility of large-scale promotion,” TrendForce’s report continued.

The firm further warned that the latest forecast from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on global economic growth in October revealed the global economic growth rate is expected to slow to 2.7% next year, and the forecast does not rule out the possibility of further decline.

The three largest economies — the United States, Euro zone, and China — will remain stagnant, which may lead to difficulty in growing TV shipments in 2023, TrendForce predicts.

Therefore, TrendForce now forecasts global TV shipments to decrease by -0.7% year on year in 2023, to 201 million units.

Meanwhile, as gas prices have skyrocked in Europe, consumer budgets have been constrained from purchasing bigger ticket sets like OLED TVs, TrendForce found.

“This year, TV sales in Europe posted the worst performance among major economies. Due primarily to a combination of three factors including the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the shutdown of nuclear power plants in France, and the inability to generate hydropower due to drought, the price of natural gas in Europe has soared nearly four times compared with the same period last year,” the statement said.

Severely hampered by household consumption budgets, the annual decline in European TV shipments this year may reach 12.5%.

The market update said: “Since Europe is a major sales zone for OLED TVs, even though sales of OLED TVs in North America have grown by more than 20% bolstered by promotions this year, TV demand in Europe has been sluggish, and growth in OLED TV shipments halted for the first time since TrendForce began tracking statistics in 2016.”

As a result, this year’s OLED TV shipments are estimated to only reach 6.67 million units, a decrease of 0.6% year over year.

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OLED TV shipments from industry leader LG Electronics are now predicted to decline 2.7% this year.

According to TrendForce: “LG Electronics and Sony accounted for more than 80% of the OLED TV market, with a 61% share and a 21% share, respectively. However, LG Electronics lost sales in Europe and shipments in North America failed to meet expectations.”

This year, LG Electronics’ OLED TV shipments fell by 2.7% year on year for the first time to only 4.04 million units.

In the past, European shipments of OLED TVs from Philips and Panasonic accounted for more than 60% of annual category shipments in the region.

“But this year, the European market has been hit by severe inflation, consumer budgets have tightened, and LG Electronics has continued its second quarter 2022 price slashing strategy, threatening the survival of other OLED brands and hindering second half 2022 OLED TV shipments from Philips and Panasonic.”

Philips and Panasonic OLED TV shipments in 2022 are estimated to decline by 9.1% and 23.3%, respectively, TrendForce said.

On the bright side, the research firm believes that another increase in OLED TV brightness levels coming in 2023 should help to stimulate shipments again.

As for LCD TV shipments to Europe this year, as the price of TV-sized LCD panels drop precipitously, the price differential between 55-inch UHD OLED and LCD TV panels has widened from a multiple of 1.8 to 5 within a year, helping to reduce promotional pricing of LCD TVs by 20-25%.

“However, this has also caused OLED TV sales to decline. In addition, the brightness performance of OLED TVs is slightly inferior to that of LCD TVs, which are also high-end products with mini LEDs as backlights. Therefore, LG Display will further improve the brightness of OLED TVs by replacing materials and algorithms next year with annual shipment growth estimated to increase by 7.3% to 7.16 million units,” TrendForce said.

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By Greg Tarr

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