Bad News For Display Panel Makers as Global TV Shipments Forecast to Fall in 2020?

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  • Samsung Display has already stopped production at one of its LCD panel lines
  • Omdia has forecast that the majority of the demand drop will occur in the second quarter

Omdia has slashed its 2020 global television shipment outlook by nearly 10 per cent. The research company has pointed out towards coronavirus as the reason behind the fall in demand of TVs. Global television shipments, as per the new report, will fall by 8.7 per cent in 2020, declining to 203.5 million units, down from 222.9 million in 2019.

“The global television market is experiencing a shocking reversal of fortune. Just one month ago, things were looking up for TV sales, with 2019 having ended on a hopeful note and all indications pointing to mild television shipment growth in 2020. However, that hope has completely evaporated during the past month as concerns about supply interruptions have been eclipsed by rising industry anxiety over a coronavirus-driven demand crash,” said Paul Gray, research director, consumer devices, for Omdia.

A lot of TV brands in India source display panels from China and other countries. It is to be noted here that around 15 million TVs were shipped in India in 2019. One of the biggest markets for TVs, India, was earlier forecast to be a driving force for the TVs market in the world.

Direct result of government mandates

The plunge in demand, as the report mentioned, is the direct result of government mandates in countries all over the world to restrict individual movement. These restrictions represent a major disruption in consumers’ normal lives and shopping habits. At the same time, the suspension of the normal sport calendar—in particular the postponement of the 2020 UEFA European Football Championship and the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games—has put much of the promotional activity in the television business on hold.

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“At a regional level, annual declines in television shipments of more than 10 per cent are not that unusual. During the past 12 years there have been a dozen such regional events. What’s unprecedented is these declines now are happening everywhere simultaneously due to global government action. This phenomenon has never been seen in the history of the TV market,” added Gary.

The value of TV receivers, monitors and projectors exported by China in 2019 stood at $31,214,343,000. Similarly, Phone system devices including smartphones exported by China in 2019 accounted for trade worth $224,069,819,000. Diaplay panels form critical parts of TVs, monitors and smartphones.

“Developed markets shrugged off the 2008-2009 recession and television sales still grew solidly. This is largely because television remains good value entertainment—far cheaper than going out. However, it’s certainly true that emerging countries’ TV markets are tied to the broader economy. We have already seen some anecdotal evidence that some consumers purchased TV sets before undergoing isolation measures. Omdia also expects that a flurry of rescheduled sports events in 2021 will boost television sales,” stated Gary.

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