Plasma Loses Share of US TV Market

With LCD prices steadily on the decline, it seems odd that plasma display prices are increasing. But that's what's happening, according to IHS iSuppli, and the result is a declining share of plasma TV sales in the US.

Plasma's share of all TV types available at US retailers fell to 13.3 percent in July, down from 14.9 percent in June and from 15 percent in July 2011, the research firm said in a press release. The last time plasma accounted for such a small percentage of US television retail availability was the first quarter of 2011, when its share dipped to 11.6 percent, IHS reports. Edward Border, analyst for TV technology at IHS, said:

    Despite a brief resurgence in popularity during the second half of last year, the U.S. plasma business is undoubtedly a market on the decline. While this deterioration is part of a long-term global trend, the drop in plasma sales in the U.S. in 2012 is also due to consistently elevated pricing. The decrease in sales has reduced plasma's market share, allowing LCD TVs — plasma's traditional rivals — to further their dominance in the overall U.S. TV space.

Plasma makers are focusing on larger screens, IHS said, and prices have climbed to an average of more than $1,600 in July. This is 1.4 percent higher than June's figure.

In the meantime, LCD prices fell in July — part of an ongoing trend as evidenced by the difficulties faced by major LCD makers such as Japan's Sony and Sharp. Both companies reported losses in their recent fiscal quarters due in part to slow TV sales and declining LCD prices. At the start of the third quarter, prices declined for LCD TVs, which account for the majority of the flat-panel market, IHS reports. The declines applied to all types of LCDs, including 3D models, interactive and smart TV, HD sets and LED TVs. IHS adds:

    Pricing drops were relatively small, reflecting no great sales or discounts, but instead were a consequence of natural erosion as stores competed with one another. More aggressive price declines occurred as the London Olympics geared up, with even more cutthroat competition to ensue among brands and retailers. Overall, average retail pricing in July for all kinds of televisions in the American market fell to $1,171 — down from $1,194 in June, but up from $1,149 the same time a year ago.

37 comments on “Plasma Loses Share of US TV Market

  1. t.alex
    August 11, 2012

    Nowadays if we need to buy a new TV, it is either an LCD or an LED. Plasma consumes power and does not last long.

  2. Anand
    August 11, 2012

    Nowadays if we need to buy a new TV, it is either an LCD or an LED.

    @t.alex, Soon we will see flexible displays, microtiles, 360-degree displays, 3D, OLED, FOLED, holographic displays — these are the possible future of display technology.

  3. Anand
    August 11, 2012

    Plasma's share of all TV types available at US retailers fell to 13.3 percent in July, down from 14.9 percent in June and from 15 percent in July 2011

    @Barbara, thanks for the post. I am curious to know if this trend is limited to US or is this happening in other countries as well ? And what will be the impact of introduction of Apple TV on this  TV market?

  4. t.alex
    August 11, 2012

    anandvy, wow that is a whole lot of new display technologies! Which one do you think is the most trendy one ?

  5. elctrnx_lyf
    August 11, 2012

    I believe with the price reduction of LED tv's, recent advancements in picture quality improvements and very less power consumption has generated more demand for Led tv's. But the plasma on other side has disadvantages in terms of cost. And new technologies like AMOLED will coming bigway into the market during next two to three years.

  6. Adeniji Kayode
    August 11, 2012


    you are right, but does people with desire for large screens have a choice except if the LED now have large screen well above 42inch.

  7. Adeniji Kayode
    August 11, 2012


    You are right on that, the new technology is putting Plasma behind now, besides, LED is becoming the main thing now with so much value for money.

  8. ahdand
    August 12, 2012

    A classic example of not synchronizing with the technology and technology is the main requirement of the users. If there is a demand for new stuff why do you lag and sell old technologgy ?

  9. Anand
    August 12, 2012

    @t.alex, I am personally quite interested in Translucent LCD's. Translucent LCD displays are beginning to be tested by various owners using a variety of applications. These displays are etched into a clear glass. There is no backlight so the screen is transparent. So using Translucent LCD's banks/retail shops can display advertisements even on plain windows.

  10. t.alex
    August 12, 2012

    How is the quality of translucent LCD as compared to traditional ones ?

  11. mfbertozzi
    August 12, 2012

    @t.alex: well, I am not so expert, but it is generally recognized that the big step forward in treating translucent signal has been achieved by adopting LED technology which is made on the basis of small polymer molecule and then doable to increase quality of running photograms; speaking for myself, I believe there will be a positive trend of the market for LED smart TV, it is in line with an adiacent market as green market is.

  12. Daniel
    August 13, 2012

    Barbara, is there any scope for Plasma TV? Lots of innovations and R&D are going on with TV display systems. The latest offerings are LED TV, 3D LED TV and the Android based Smart TV etc. Maybe by tomorrow something else with better technology may come. When technology is moving from one to the next, the existence or survival for the old technology is difficult.

  13. ITempire
    August 14, 2012

    It has been quite a time since I have heard anyone talking about plasma. Surely, the LCD market is a dominant one. With most consumers already having decent SD TV sets in their homes and also being satisfied with the images and sounds they witness, they are only bound to buy LCDs when they find their model too old. Nowhere does plasmas come in. Increase in prices will further demotivate users.

  14. ITempire
    August 14, 2012

    @ Jacob

    I find your concern about plasma technology valid. The buzz in the market among adventurous users is about 3D LED TVs and smartphones' screens. Secondly, manufacturers have to focus on what the consumers are demanding rather than a technology that has been around for a decade now.

  15. Eldredge
    August 14, 2012

    A few years ago, I purchased a plasma TV because I liked the picture better, and the cost was competitive. It sounds like improvements in LCD technology and a lack of ability to drive cost out of the plasma technology has forced plasma into a decreasing niche market.

  16. Adeniji Kayode
    August 14, 2012


    I agree with you on that,improvements made on LCD really justify the cost.

    Could there be a kind of innovation or inprovements in Plasma tv too or it might be heading towards extinction just like CRT.

  17. Eldredge
    August 14, 2012

    @Adeniji – I suspect that plasma is just a more costly technology, and unless it maintains an advantage with large screens, will eventually be pushed out of the market.

  18. Daniel
    August 16, 2012

    Waqas, now smart TVs are also common in market. It's an Android based TV with internet connection and web browsing facility. In most of such TVs there is no need of even remote control also; all are working on gesture recognition algorithms, where you can flag your hands and fingers for various operations.  The technology has grown that much and in such situation, whether anybody prefers plasma is a big question.

  19. Daniel
    August 16, 2012

    waqas, LCD may also outdating very soon. According to the recent market survey, the sale of LED TV may overcome the LCD market share by first or second quarter of 2013. Now the price of LED TVs are on little bit higher side, but compare with the savings in power consumption and bulk production advantages, its prices can be come down further.

  20. Adeniji Kayode
    August 16, 2012


    I agree with you on that. One technology will always superceed the other.

    If LCD is benching Plasma, Soon LED will bench LCD then the android tv will have it season too.

  21. ITempire
    August 16, 2012

    @ jacob

    but compare with the savings in power consumption and bulk production advantages, its prices can be come down further.”

    I suspect that the difference in prices of both the technologies, LCD and LED, can be overcome by the savings in power consumption due to LED usage. For residential users, the cost differential might take years to recover based on power consumption pattern. However, for corporate LED customers that make calculations for the long run, they may consider the savings seriously in decision making.

  22. Daniel
    August 21, 2012

    Waqas, agreed. I meant in general that the power consumption in LED Tv is less when compare with the other Tvs. Picture clarity is also too good in LED TV. Anyway, I don’t think there won’t be much market for LED because technologies are changing every day. Now a day’s the average life of technology is 2-3 years.

  23. Daniel
    August 21, 2012

    Adeniji, it's a common phenomenon. Otherwise we have to satisfy with the old technology and products. Now Smart Tvs with android OS are common, what should be the next? Is the question.

  24. Adeniji Kayode
    August 21, 2012

    Big question Jacob, It may not have come to mind now what the next technology will be or look like but all I know is that there will always be the “Next”.

  25. ITempire
    August 21, 2012

    @ Jacob

    Now a day's the average life of technology is 2-3 years.

    I'l agree with you on that. Its quite surprising when companies like Sony and Samsung report loses but they do that quite often. Due to short life of the technology these day, they are bound to take huge risks and its not surprising that small revenue falls often result in loses. Newcomers cannot survive that.

  26. Daniel
    August 23, 2012

    Waqas, you are right. Companies are investing billions of dollars' in R&D and before getting the ROI, new technologies are evolving. Now companies are also very cautious and they had shortcut the R&D investments. The best example is Android consortium, where Samsung, LG, Nokia, Google etc are the investors, so there is no individual R&D from each company.

  27. ITempire
    August 23, 2012

    @ Jacob

    You highlighted a great idea of joint-investments in R&D. Its quite a surprise that once fierce competitors, Nokia and Samsung, are joining hands to ensure that they get the maximum benefits out of research which wont be as effective if they do it individually. 

  28. Wale Bakare
    August 23, 2012

    Yeah, consortium not bad idea though. But any high -tech business running away from R&D is taking a bigger risk. I would prefer staying and spending more in research & development than continue to maroon in an island of technology. If that happens playing catch-up would not be enough, i think.

  29. Daniel
    September 3, 2012

    Wale, technically you are right. if they are not able to get ROI from R&D, what's the feasible way. That's the one reason most of the companies shortcut the R&D expenses and centers. For last couple of years, for minimizing the expenses, all most all companies started their cost cutting from R&D centers.

  30. Daniel
    September 3, 2012

    Waqas, it's a reality. Android is a consortium by Google, Nokia, Samsung, LG etc, similarly, I know some of the companies have similar hardware collaborative R&D projects (our company is also doing hardware R&D collaborative with 2 other companies, who are in same line of business). From customer point of view, we may think they are competitors, but behind the stage all are friends.

  31. Wale Bakare
    September 3, 2012

    Jacob, i agree with you. What do you think of those companies means of cutting-back solely targeting reduction in number of employees and expenses on R&D? Does that mean identifying weakest link and less-performing areas within those companies much more difficult or headcount has often been reviewed as the best method?

  32. Wale Bakare
    September 3, 2012

    I think Google, Nokia and Samsung synergy worthwhile in that context. Especially with the market struggling of Nokia, it stands to benefit more in the partnership both innovatively and financially.

  33. ITempire
    September 9, 2012

    @ Jacob

    “Android is a consortium by Google, Nokia, Samsung, LG etc, “

    I was unaware that Nokia is a partner in Android consortium as well. It surprised me also because these days Nokia is on the verge of adopting Microsoft's OS. So does it mean that Nokia is backing out of the Android consortium or is it adopting the strategy of foot in 2 boats ?

  34. t.alex
    September 9, 2012

    Is it true Nokia is also participating in the Android consortium ? I suppose it already ditched Android to go for Windows.

  35. Daniel
    September 10, 2012

    Wale, when undergoing financial crises, the first cut comes from R&D section. They may close the R&D section and either transfer or rearrange employees to some other sections or even lay off in certain conditions. I don’t think that’s the best method, I strongly believes that without R&D, none of the companies can withstand for a long period. Otherwise they have to copy similar products from competitor.

  36. Daniel
    September 10, 2012

    Waqas, Nokia is also a contributor for Android consortium. But in between they left the consortium for windows and release Nokia Smartphones with Windows OS. That's one of the big mistake they had done.

  37. Daniel
    September 10, 2012

    Wale, during the financial crisis and market down time, as a part of cost cutting instead of closing the R&D facility: some of the companies had done collaborative each other for R&D, which can be beneficial mutually. This will help them to minimize the R&D expenses and the outcomes can be shared among them for technical benefits. Without R&D, no new products can introduce to markets.

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