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China HD Sales Sprint Spurred by Olympics, Falling Prices

Mar 27, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Beijing may have a reputation for being one of the world’s smoggiest cities, but that won’t stop the Chinese television audience from getting a clearer view of the Summer Olympics.
Sales of liquid-crystal display televisions in China, which account for about a third of total unit sales, are projected to jump more than 80% to about 16 million units this year as the nation’s largest city prepares for the 29th Olympiad, according to a report from NPD Group unit DisplaySearch this week.
While the Olympics and Shanghai’s World Expo in 2010 will help drive sales, future projections indicate that falling LCD prices may be an even larger factor.
While China-based Hisense has the largest market share at 12%, the influx of Japanese brands such as Sony and Samsung has helped bring the average 32-inch LCD price below the $800 mark this year. With prices expected to continue to fall and average Chinese incomes rising, LCD annual unit sales will double to about 32 million units by 2012.
“There had been at least a 30% pricing gap between foreign brands and domestic players, but it decreased to less than 20% in 2007,” said Bing Zhang, director of TV market research for DisplaySearch in China.
Meanwhile, the TVs in China are getting bigger and better. The average size LCD is forecast to grow to 36 inches in 2012 from about 34 inches last year, while 1080p high-definition sets will account for 40% of LCDs sold in China in 2012, up from about 10% last year.
In 2007, China’s growth rate of LCD sales matched that of North America, where customers bought 20.5 million LCD sets last year, up 85% from 2006, according to research firm Pacific Media Associates.
About 95% of U.S. LCD sets are high definition, while HD sets account for more than 90% of overseas units, DisplaySearch has reported.

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