Fourteen of the world's top TV brands plan to raise their targets in 2014 in hopes of shipping more liquid-crystal display television (LCD TV) sets, even though virtually half saw actual shipments fall below expectations this year, according to a new report from the TV Systems Intelligence service of IHS Inc.
Based on the business plans of TV brands from South Korea, Japan and China, LCD TV shipments are set to approach 236.0 million units in 2014, up an expansive 13.4 percent from estimated shipments of 208.1 million that will be reached by the end of 2013.
But while the goals set by the brands next year seem optimistic, the real numbers this year tell a different story. If confirmed, the 2013 estimates will mean that actual LCD TV shipments fell roughly 0.9 percent from 209.8 million units shipped in 2012.
Of the 14 TV brands under consideration-a collective group that includes the world's top Tier 1 names, as well as a smattering of lesser-known lights-seven saw their LCD TV shipments this year contract from 2012 volumes. Even so, a majority of these same seven makers have posted ambitious double-digit rates of expansion for their LCD TV shipments in 2014.
Included in this group are all four of the Japanese Tier 1 makers: Sony, down 15 percent on the year; Toshiba, down 18 percent; Panasonic, down 17 percent; and Sharp, down 7 percent. Both Panasonic and Toshiba plan to up shipments anywhere from 14 to 18 percent next year, while Sharp and Sony have less grand goals between 3 and 6 percent.
The Japanese as a whole have experienced reverses as they go about restructuring their business. In all, the four Japanese players incurred a loss of 14 percent in 2013 shipments, but plan a 9 percent expansion in volume for 2014.
Also in the group of faltering performers are the Chinese brands of Haier and Changhong, down 7 percent and 4 percent, respectively. Both plan to raise TV shipments next year by more than 20 percent.
Sitting at the top: Samsung and LG
In contrast to the spent Japanese, the two South Korean giants of Samsung and LG are at the top of the winner's circle. The Koreans will post expected overall LCD TV shipments this year of 71.1 million units, up an aggregate 6 percent from 67.0 million units.
Samsung, which enjoyed a 6 percent increase this year to 42.6 million units compared to 2012, plans a 10 percent hike in shipments for 2014. LG, which relished an even larger 7 percent increase, aims to raise 2014 shipments by 14 percent from 28.5 million this year. In any case, both Samsung and LG-the best performers of the lot-have expansion goals far lower than their cohorts, many of them already brought low this year.
Others in the charmed circle of gainers include Chinese brands TCL, Hisense, Skyworth and Konka, up from 3 to 10 percent; as well as the only U.S. maker on the list-Vizio of California, up 14 percent on the year.
But judging from this year's overall anemic performance of the flat-panel TV market, the sales targets next year have to be considered as being too high, IHS believes.
The Chinese are aiming to increase LCD TV shipments by an average of 25 percent for 2014. But the group is unlikely to meet its targets, given the prospect that China's domestic demand won't be able to expand at a rate approaching 20 percent, or that Chinese brands will be able to boost exports in the near future. The Japanese brands, meanwhile, may experience even deeper cuts as painful restructuring continues of their TV divisions.
That leaves only the South Koreans as the clear victors, with Samsung and LG expected to maintain their dominance in 2014. Earlier in October this year, combined share of the two brands exceeded 40 percent.
Aggregate market share for the Korean giants will continue to stay in the mid and high 30 percent range for sometime to come, especially as they ramp up shipments for next year.
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