In the fourth quarter, the only major market for LCD TV screens to see sizeable quarter-over-quarter growth was China, with the U.S. seeing a noticeable slowdown, and Japan seeing a third straight quarter of fewer shipments year over year, according to data from research firm IHS.
More troublesome for LCD TV makers may be the numbers for emerging markets: India — a country whose consumers are still transitioning from cathode-ray tube (CRT) sets — was the only country that saw positive growth in the fourth quarter, after a flat third quarter and declines in the second quarter of 2015, according to the data. Overall, 2.6 million LCD screens were shipped in India in the fourth quarter, a year over year jump of 18%.
But in other emerging markets, the news wasn’t so great: Ukraine’s LCD TV market fell by 66%, and Russia’s fell by nearly 50%. Brazil posted an 18% decline.
“Compared to other emerging nations, India is still early in the process of transitioning from CRT to LCD, so there is a lot of room left for market growth,” said Hisakazu Torii, senior director of consumer device research for IHS Technology. “While India is not immune from currency devaluations, the country also has a stronger demand base than others.”
And even with India’s LCD market gains, consumers there are going with smaller-sized sets, an average of 31.7 inches, something IHS attributes to smaller home sizes in that country. By comparison, the average LCD set shipped in the fourth quarter in China is 44 inches (43 inches for the U.S.).