Global Q3-2021 TV unit shipments declined 14.7% from the same period in 2020, and are expected to drop further in Q4-2021 in most regions of the world as the lingering effects of supply chain disruptions continue into the Holidays, according to data recently issued by market research firm TrendForce.

The firm’s latest full-year TV shipment forecasts show global unit shipment volume down year-over-year by more than 10% for the full year and down 12% for the second half of 2021.

According to TrendForce data, quarterly TV shipments in Q3-2021 came in at 52.51 million units, down 14.7% from last year, when pandemic related lock downs and government stimulus measures boosted demand beyond normally predictable levels.

However, the emergence of vaccines, easing of lock down measures and rising TV prices from ballooning shipping costs around the world began to stifle last year’s demand after the mid-point of 2021.

TrendForce now expects quarterly global TV shipments for Q4-2021 to reach 59.13 million units, up 12.6% quarter over quarter, but down 10.3% from Q4-2020. The market research firm said that when all is said and done, total TV shipment volume should turn in one of the lowest levels for second-half performance in recent years. As a result, annual global TV shipment volume for 2021 is forecast to reach 210 million units, which would be a 3.2% decline from full-year 2020.

On the bright side, demand for premium TVs using organic light emitting diode (OLED) panels — like those offered by LG Electronics, Sony and others — has overcome a number of production-related challenges and continue to ride a growth surge throughout 2021.

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TrendForce forecasts full-year global OLED TV shipments for 2021 to reach 6.8 million units, which would be a 72.8% increase from 2020. Much of the increased volume is attributed to ramped up output at LG Display’s OLED panel fab in Guangzhou, China, which has enabled lowering OLED panel prices as premium LED-LCD TV panels saw price hikes and constrained production, particularly in small and mid-sized segment costs.

On a positive note, the report indicates the cost of TV panels began to plummet in August, which helped China’s TV manufacturers lower prices in time to generate demand for TVs during China’s important Singles’ Day (November 11) shopping festival. This helped to make up some of the deficit in the country’s yearly sales target. But panel cost declines came too late for most global brands to pass the cost-savings on to holiday TV retail prices in other regions until 1Q22, due to factors such as production, transportation, and inventory adjustments.

In other words, expect to see some nice TV bargains begin to arrive around Super Bowl time in 2022.

TrendForce further believes that due to the all of the complicating factors of the last 12 months, major TV brands have focused on delivering higher-ticket medium-sized and large-sized TVs. As a result, the firm now sees the mix of large-sized TVs surpassing surpass 20% of the overall market, a new high for the size range.

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By Greg Tarr

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