According to global TV shipment forecasts for Q2-2023 from display tech market research firm TrendForce, shipments of TVs of all sizes and resolutions for the second quarter will reach 46.63 million units, up 7.5% from the previous quarter and up 2% for the same period a year ago.

The research firm, which has predicted a decrease in TV shipments overall for the year, attributed the early- to mid -year shipment uptick to primarily Chinese TV brands heavily stockpiling TVs and TV display panels for their country’s big 618 e-commerce shopping holiday and an unexpectedly heavy growth spike for some of these brands’ products overseas.

“This marks the first YoY growth observed in seven consecutive quarters, signifying that channel inventory has returned to healthy levels after an extended period of destocking,” TrendForce said. “Brands will continue to adjust their stocks according to fluctuations in demand.”

As for the year ahead, the research suggests that the upcoming Q3 period, which is the traditional peak season for global TV inventory loading, will see a predicted increase of 13.5% quarter over quarter for a total 52.92 million units.

Nevertheless, Trendforce said it has observed display panel makers continuing to follow a demand-driven strategy, while rigorously controlling their production rates. This is despite the fact that TV panel sizes of 55 inches and below were becoming profitable in June.

The prevailing strategy has been to sustain the rising trend in TV panel prices until the critical Q3 period. This comes even as overall end-user demand for mid-range and some higher-end TVs remains stymied by high inflation, shifting much of the buying activity to low-priced models.

TrendForce said that though counter intuitive, with the diverging trend between rising panel prices and end-user sell-through prices, TV brands are expecting to maximize profits by preemptively stocking up to reduce production costs.

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As a result, TrendForce said it expects a deceleration in global TV shipment growth in Q4 to 4.5%, leading to approximately 55.13 million unit shipments for the year-end period.

“This marks a decrease of 5.1% from the brands’ initial shipment plans at the year’s start, with further reductions being a possibility,” the report said.

As for TV sales activity in North America, TrendForce said Hisense and ONN have ranked in the top three brands so far this year.

“Impacted by ongoing inflation and interest rate hikes, TrendForce observes a change in consumer preferences for TV products, most evident in North America,” the analytics firm said., adding that TV sales at retail in the region have risen 2.9% between January to May.

Best-selling models this year have included a $99 32-inch HD model from Walmart’s “ONN” house brand followed by a 50-inch 4K UHD model selling for $198 in the “top two spots for five consecutive months.”

Meanwhile, Hisense, which has been on a tear in recent quarters, had a $268 58-inch model as the third-ranked sales leader in North America.

“This year, both ONN and Hisense have witnessed substantial sales growth in North America, ousting TCL and Vizio to secure the second and third positions in market sales, with respective market shares of 18.3% and 13.5%,” TrendForce said.

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By Greg Tarr

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