Shipments of 3D LCD TV panels reached 6.6 million units in the third quarter of 2011, accounting for 27 percent growth quarter over quarter, according to a report from NPD DisplaySearch. The pattern retarder type and shutter glass type are growing by 34 percent and 23 percent, respectively.
NPD DisplaySearch's Quarterly Large-Area TFT LCD Shipment Report - Advanced LED + 3D found panel makers are targeting "very strong" 30 percent growth in 3D LCD TV panel shipments for the fourth-quarter 2011. Downstream manufacturers and brands are continuously promoting 3D, and end-user awareness and interest are growing. In the third quarter of this year, 3D TV panel penetration in total LCD TV panel shipments reached 12 percent.
"The TFT LCD industry has been in oversupply for six consecutive quarters, which has influenced the price premium for 3D panels. While there are still many questions about the lack of 3D content and services, as well as end users' needs, LCD TV panel makers have been strongly promoting 3D through lower prices and the introduction of new, cost-effective technologies," said David Hsieh, vice president of the greater China market for NPD DisplaySearch.
While LCD TV panel shipments did not grow in the third quarter, 3D panel shipment growth was healthy, and panel makers are targeting 30 percent quarter-to-quarter growth for the fourth quarter of this year. According to NPD DisplaySearch estimates based on panel makers' shipment targets, 3D LCD TV panel shipments will reach 21.5 million units in 2011, with 3D penetration in LCD TV panels of 10 percent (4 percent pattern retarder type and 6 percent shutter glass type). Furthermore, with the launch of a series of newly developed low-cost 3D solutions, panel makers are targeting 20 percent 3D penetration in LCD TV panels by Q3 2012. The report noted that this level of 3D TV penetration may lead to more content availability.
In addition to 3D TV, panel makers are aggressively promoting 3D monitor panels, especially for consumer entertainment PC and game markets, NPD research found. In 3D LCD monitors, pattern retarder makers are more aggressive than shutter glass makers. Panel makers are targeting shipments of more than 1.5 million per quarter from the second quarter of 2012 onward. This is up from 250,000 units in Q3 2011.
This year has been a challenging one for the TV industry. Sluggish consumer demand in developed regions, like North America, Japan and Western Europe, has led to poor profitability on the part of TV set makers and panel makers. With supply chain inventory problems persisting well into midyear, many TV brands cut back on their shipment plans for 2011 and reduced panel orders in Q3, which resulted in larger price declines for those core panels. The upside for consumers is more attractive retail set prices during the upcoming holiday season, particularly during Black Friday in the United States.