Due to inflationary hardships, display technology market researcher TrendForce now estimates global TV shipments over the second half of 2022 will reach 109 million units, down 2.7% from the same period a year ago.

In addition, global TV shipments for the full year 2022 are projected to remain on course to hitting TrendForce’s previously revised forecasts for 202 million total TV units, representing a decline of 3.9% from 2021 — “a decade low.”

During the year, TrendForce said the TV set market saw a continuous decline in shipments, as consumer demand waned. This has forced corrections in display panel production.

“Fortunately, there has also been a sharp drop in prices of large-sized panels,” TrendForce said. “Furthermore, freight transportation costs have fallen by more than 50%. Thus, TV brands have been able to vigorously promote large-sized products, and the average size of TVs has also risen by 1.4 inches to 56 inches.”

The firm’s forecast for 2023 is for global TV panel supply to remain “fairly plentiful,” with the possibility that panel prices will at the same time remain extremely low.

This should ease panel cost pressure on TV brands presenting more flexibility when it comes to large-scale promotional activities on finished TV sets.

Unfortunately, TrendForce said the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has downgraded its global economic growth forecast for 2023 to 2.7% keeping consumer demand low.

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TrendForce is forecasting global TV shipments of all types to decline another 1.4% in 2023 to 199,115 million units.

The research firm said North American TV sales shrank 16.5% in the first half of 2022 due to rapidly mounting inflationary pressure impacting consumer demand. Around that same time, TV brands also reached their limit in terms of inventory accumulation.

“To reduce the glut, brands conducted inventory check across all sections of their supply chains and made significant revisions to their procurement plans,” TrendForce reported. “Now, in 2H22, brands have been aggressively spurring demand. Full-scale promotional activities commenced on Amazon’s Prime Day, and TV sales were then ramped up to a peak on Black Friday.”

Among the most aggressive promoting brands in North America during the period was TCL, TrendForce found. The Chinese brand cut the price of its 55-inch Mini-LED backlit 4K LCD TV model by 70% to $199. Other brands were similarly motivated to move particular product models in the holiday sales competition.

As a result, “TV sales in North America for the Black Friday period rose by 13% [year over year],” the research firm said. “It is also clear that TV brands on the whole have gradually lowered their inventories to a relatively optimal level after months of promotional activities across channels and corrections to panel procurements.”

The forecast report also pointed to “a tepid performance of high-end products” in the second half, and in particular 8K TVs. This was attributed to the lack of supporting broadcasting content and high retail prices.

“Most TV brands have not been particularly keen on pushing 8K models,” TrendForce noted, “and after years of advocacy, Samsung remains the single dominant brand for 8K TVs with a market share almost 70%.”

As inflationary conditions have continued, TrendForce is now projecting that 8K TV shipments will see a year on year decline for the first time in 2022, dropping by 7.4% to just about 400,000 units, globally.

“It is also worth noting that Europe as one of the main sales regions for 8K TVs could be affected by the updated EU energy consumption labelling scheme (i.e., Energy Efficiency Index),” TrendForce said. “Specifically, energy consumption rules have been further tightened so that some older 8K models could be banned from the region starting in March 2023. However, Samsung is planning to launch new 8K models that meet the updated energy consumption standards. Moreover, display panel suppliers continue to promote 8K products so as to widen adoption among TV brands.”

TrendForce currently forecasts 8K TVs will surpass the 500,000 unit mark for 2023, registering a year over year growth of 20%.

As for shipments of TVs using LG’s White OLED panels, TrendForce said shipments are projected to drop 6.2% year on year in 2022 and will drop another 2.7% in 2023.

TrendForce’s research on panel prices indicated that LCD panel prices have plummeted to the point where a 55-inch UHD LCD panel was 4.8 times lower than the price of a WOLED panel at the end of the third quarter 2022.

“With the price difference between the two panels returning to where it was at the start of 2020, selling WOLED TVs has been quite challenging for brands that do offer this kind of product,” TrendForce said.

TrendForce estimates that shipments of WOLED TVs will shrink by 6.2% from a year ago to 6.29 million units for 2022. This is expected to be met with a conservative pricing strategy by LG Display when quoting WOLED panels in 2023, and as a result WOLED TV shipments will dip by another 2.7% YoY in 2023.

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By Greg Tarr

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