WitsView, a division of TrendForce, reports global shipments of LCD TV sets in the third quarter of 2016 totaled around 57.15 million units, representing a sequential quarterly increase of 14.4% and a year-on-year increase of 5.8%. TV set shipments benefitted from peak season demand in the U.S. and Europe as well as festivities in China (i.e. the Mid-Autumn Festival and the National Day holidays). China’s vigorous housing market also has a positive effect on the domestic TV sales in the recent period.
Ricky Lin, research manager of WitsView, stated that prices of LCD panels also rose sharply in the third quarter, and this in turn significantly reduced the margins of branded TV sets. “Some branded TV makers are at risk of selling their products at a loss,” said Lin. “Nonetheless, first-tier brands are having low inventories for both panels and TV sets. They have to keep up their panel purchases in order to maintain their production and achieve their annual shipment targets. Since the third quarter, some brands have started to negotiate with retailers over raising prices of TV sets. It is still too early to tell if this move will affect sales and cause TV inventories to build up in the channels.”
TCL retook third place in the shipment ranking by registering a sequential growth of over 40%
Third-quarter shipment ranking shows that South Korean brands Samsung and LG Electronics (LGE) retained their respective first- and second-place positions. Samsung grew its shipments by 6.6% compared with the prior quarter to 11.3 million units, while LGE’s shipments registered a slight sequential increase of 1.43% to reach 7.1 million units. The lack of significant growth in LGE’s shipments was mainly attributed to the reorganization of the company at the start of 2016 and the shift of strategic focus from shipment volume to product margin.
Chinese brand TCL expanded its third-quarter TV shipments by 42.3% sequentially to 3.7 million units. Sales of TCL’s own branded TV sets in the domestic market continue to grow. Furthermore, TCL as an OEM for other brands has managed to expand shipments to overseas markets. The shipment surge in the third quarter allowed TCL to reclaim the third-place position in the ranking and move closer to its annual target of 20 million units.
Though Hisense fell back to fourth place in the third quarter, its shipment performance was impressive. Hisense shipped around 3.5 million units, up almost 30% compared with the second quarter.
Sony’s third-quarter shipments posted a sequential growth of 17% to arrive at 3.1 million units. Sony’s sales in the U.S. and Europe picked up on account of the peak season demand. Moreover, the Japanese brand saw a significant shipment growth in India during the third quarter. In addition to the promotion of large-size and 4K TV sets, Sony will also work hard to enlarge its market share in India.
Looking ahead to the fourth quarter, shipments of LCD TV sets will keep expanding during the Christmas season in the U.S. and Europe. Singles’ Day in China on November 11 will also be a significant sales driver. WitsView estimates that around 64.3 million units of LCD TV sets will be shipped in this fourth quarter, up 12.4% from the third quarter.