TV sales continued to be strong in the third quarter, jumping 15 percent year-over-year to a third quarter record of 62.9 million shipments.
That’s according to research firm Omdia, which said that the shipments number beat its own forecast by 10 percent. Another firm, TrendForce, had said in October that global sales in the third quarter were at 62 million.
Omdia attributed the sales to consumer enthusiasm, as well as consumers choosing to spend their disposable money on home upgrades, after not spending on travel and other usual pursuits made impossible by the pandemic.
The North American market led the growth, with 60 percent growth year over year, while the Middle East and Africa posted 20 percent growth.
Shipments were down in both China and the Asia Pacific region.
“China had a quiet quarter—while life and its supply chain returned to normal, demand was damped by sharp rises in LCD panel costs caused by extremely tight capacity in panel fabs,” Omdia said. “With price increases in LCD panels of up to 60% this year, consumers are seeing rising TV prices and reduced promotional activity.”
In North America, the shipments of 16.4 million units represented “the highest ever in any quarter since we have been tracking the market,” Omdia said. “While partly due to refilling a depleted pipeline, it demonstrates renewed enthusiasm from consumers.” TrendForce had also seen a big increase in North America TV sales.
Meanwhile, 58.6 percent of the total sales were 4K/ultra HDs, having their second-best quarter ever behind the holiday quarter of last year. Also, just 82,500 8K units were shipped in the quarter, although this beat Omdia’s forecast.
As for smart TVs, 85.9 percent of all TVs shipped were smart, an all-time record.
In terms of brands, Samsung was by far the leading brand in the world, with nearly 15 million shipments, followed by LG with about 7 million, and TCL with slightly less than that. These were followed by Hisense, Xiaomi, Skyworth, Sony, Vizio, Sharp and Philips.
“Clearly the current trend is more than just release of pent-up demand and inventory replenishment. With the Northern Hemisphere winter and renewed lockdown measures, TV viewing is becoming more valuable to consumers,” Paul Grey, Senior Research Director, for TV of Omdia, said in the release.
“We can expect firm demand to continue at least until the end of the year. So far, cost increases (principally on LCD panels) have not worked their way fully through to consumers. The coming months will see upward pressure on prices combined with the longer-term economic consequences of COVID-19 becoming apparent. Much will depend on whether other regions can repeat the V-shaped recovery seen in China.”
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.