Recession didn’t stop HDTV in the US

Unlike Q3’08, which shown record shipments and sales of LCD TV units, Black Friday/Christmas quarter saw shipments of TVs falling by 7%, according to a study released by DisplaySearch, division of NPD. Sales numbers didn’t back the trend, though.

Overall numbers dropped to 10.7 million shipped units, with LCD leading the way with 8.9M units, 200.000 less than 12 months ago. LCD TV shipments increased 9% when comparing Q3 to Q4, though. Retailers and etailers didn’t want to build up stock in fears of potentially catastrophic Q1’09, but this LCD drop was off-set by massive 28% increase in shipments of Plasma units. Manufacturers shipped 1.3M Plasma TV units, making it a new record for quarterly shipments. What makes Q4’08 really interesting is the fact that LCDTV saw sharp increase in sales of 40-52″ models, while Plasma TV went up in the 50″ segment – both cases were credited to excellent deals for these models during Black Friday sales.

Brand-wise, Samsung rules the roost on North American continent. For the first time, this Korean giant has more than 20% of overall market share – winning in both LCD and Plasma worlds. Sony is second with 14.2%, growing by three points to crack the 14% share. However, Sony only ships LCD models, so these numbers are quite impressive. On the other hand, Vizio scored 3.3% market share increase, up to 12.3%. It seems that Americans are really fond of this brand, especially in the beyond-40″ segment.

Overall, incouraging numbers – but it will be interesting to see what will happen with Q1’09 shipment and sales results.