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Report: Plasma Panel Shipments to Decline

25 Mar, 2009 By: Chris Tribbey

Increased consumer demand for LCD TV screens underscored by the economic recession will contribute to a steady decline in global shipments of plasma panels, according to a new report.

Global plasma panel shipments will increase by about 6.7% in 2009, compared to a 19.7% growth in 2008, according to iSuppli Corp.

The El Segundo, Calif.-based research company cautioned that downturns in shipments of plasma panels do not necessarily reflect a correlating downturn in plasma TV units.

With Pioneer Electronics and Hitachi exiting the plasma business, leaving only Panasonic Electronics, and Samsung and LG Electronics restructuring production facilities, the impact on TV shipments can’t be ignored.

“On the demand side, sales growth for televisions and other plasma-display products is not what it used to be,” said Riddhi Patel, principal analyst for television systems at iSuppli. “Weak consumer spending and business purchases are discouraging plasma panel makers from ramping up production. The economic downturn is affecting both retail and business purchases.”

The report said consumer demand for consumer electronics and plasma TVs is likely to rebound in 2010 following the aftermath of a “bloodied” 2009.

The study suggested that in the interim plasma panel manufacturers should alter their product strategies while continuing to improve picture quality and reducing costs. iSuppli said manufacturers could achieve both goals by using better phosphors, single-scan technology or changing or enhancing the cell structures of their panels.

In addition the report said market demand for 50-inch and larger screen sizes plays to the strength of plasma technology and favorable prices compared with LCD. 

“The TV market also is moving toward the full high-definition (HD) resolution, slimmer form factors and wireless connectivity,” the report said. “Making full HD resolution standard on all products is key.”

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