Market researcher iSuppli on Wednesday trimmed its global forecasts for LCD-TV shipments, saying the hottest-selling segment of the digital TV market is not immune to the economic downturn.
Shipments in 2008 would amount to 93.4 million units, down nearly 6% from iSuppli's previous prediction of 99 million units. For 2009, iSuppli dropped its forecast to 112.6 million shipments from 124 million units.
Despite the lower forecasts, LCD shipments this year and next will increase over the previous year by 18.9% and 20.5%, respectively, iSuppli said.
"LCD-TV shipments will continue to rise due to strong consumer interest and declining average selling prices for sets," iSuppli analyst Riddhi Patel said in a statement. "Furthermore, iSuppli expects the major brands' marketing and promotional efforts will fuel demand."
Nevertheless, given the seriousness of the global economic slowdown, forecasts for LCD-TV shipments had to be lowered, given the drop in spending from consumers left with thinner wallets from falling stock and home prices.
"The current crisis is impacting spending in all markets, including LCD TVs," Patel said. "The continued impact of the recession and credit crunch in the United States and Europe and rising inflation in many emerging markets will slow down sales growth for LCD TVs in 2009 as well."
Fewer buyers are expected to lead to sales channels holding more than nine weeks of inventory after the holiday shopping season, which means retailers are likely to reinstate steep holiday discounts in early 2009 to clear out product.
ISuppli expects the economy in mature markets to show signs of recovery in the third quarter of next year and believes LCD-TV sales will bounce back starting in 2010.