With a lingering global recession continuing to place pressure on discretionary spending, global TV shipments declined 6% Y/Y in Q1'09 to 43.3M units according to the latest Quarterly Global TV Shipment and Forecast Report from DisplaySearch. This was a decline of 25% from Q4'08 on seasonal trends. Revenues fell even more, down 12% Y/Y to $22.1 billion with ASPs falling 6% Y/Y as both retailers and brands sought to keep consumers shopping. The resulting shipments were very close to projections, but the mix was weighted more heavily towards LCD TVs than expected on strong demand in China as well as North America.
Globally, flat panel TV shares grew from 66% in Q4'08 to 68% in Q1'09 as LCD TV prices fell even more in Q1'09 on an annual basis than they did during the Q4'08 holiday season, an indication of the pressure to maintain consumer demand. LCD TVs were the only technology to gain share during the quarter, rising from 58% to 62%, as Y/Y shipments grew 27% to 26.7M units, but revenues posted the first ever Y/Y decline on a worldwide basis, down 1% Y/Y, highlighting the pressure on prices. Plasma TV unit shipments increased 1% Y/Y by comparison to 2.8M with revenues falling by 26%Y/Y, representing 6% of unit shipments and 11% of global TV revenues.
China remained the number region for TV shipments, increasing unit share from 19.1% to 21.3%, with strong growth in LCD TV shipments, posting the only sequential increase in LCD TV unit volume from Q4'08 to Q1'09 of any region, as the rural subsidy program gained momentum and helped to partially offset a sharp decline in demand for CRT TVs. North America was the dominant region for TV revenues, accounting for more than 27% of global dollars due to a greater mix of large size LCD and plasma TVs than other regions.
Given the pressure on consumer spending, it's not surprising that demand remained strong for modest screen sizes, where pricing was more attractive. 32" was still the most popular screen size, accounting for almost 38% of unit shipments, but the share of total TV shipments above 40" declined about half a percent from record levels in Q4'08. The unit share of higher resolution 1080p models increased by more than a point to a record 21.7%.
On a brand basis, Samsung remained the global brand share leader in revenues for the thirteenth straight quarter, holding their revenue share around 22%, and also leading in global TV unit share. LGE overtook Sony for the number 2 share position in global TV revenues, rising almost 2 points to 13.3% and posting the only Y/Y revenue growth among the top five brands with a 14% Y/Y growth in unit volume. Sony fell to number 3 on a revenue basis as a result, with Sharp and Panasonic rounding out the top five. It's interesting to note that in LCD TV on a revenue basis, Philips fell out of the top five for the first time, replaced by Toshiba who was number two in Japan and number five in North America and Western Europe.