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World LCD TV sales overtake CRT revenues

More CRTs were shipped, though

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Display manufacturers made more money from LCD TVs than they did from sets based on CRT technology, market watcher DisplaySearch's figures for Q4 2005 reveal. However, far more CRT TVs shipped during the quarter, making it the dominant telly technology by a large margin.

Q4 revenues from LCD TVs reached $10.1bn, up 54.3 per cent on the previous quarter's $6.5bn, according to DisplaySearch. CRT revenues were up sequentially, too, but only by 9.6 per cent, from $6.9bn to $7.5bn. Both technologies were boosted by pre-Christmas purchases. The two technologies accounted for 39 per cent and 29 per cent of the market in sales terms, respectively.

That's sales - what about unit shipments? CRT's share of the market during Q4 was 78.9 per cent, down 15 per cent year on year. LCD shipments were up an impressive 137 per cent over Q4 2004, but the technology still accounted for on 14.7 per cent of world telly shipments.

So while your average consumer electronics retailer might have many, many more LCD TVs on display than CRTs, the older technology is far from defunct - as Samsung's move to offer HD Ready CRTs shows. This isn't a developing world phenomenon: in both North America and Europe, CRT TVs accounted for just under 65 per cent of unit shipments in Q4. In Japan, the figure falls to under 40 per cent.

Plasma TVs accounted for 3.9 per cent of global display shipments, up 109 per cent year on year, according to DisplaySearch. Revenues for these expensive beasts reached $5.3bn in Q4 2005.

During the quarter, vendors sold $25.5bn worth of TVs - plasma panels took 20 per cent of that, pushing the share by revenue of flat-panel TVs to just under 60 per cent. That's no great surprise given the price premium of large-size displays over CRTs.

Sony, Samsung, Philips, Panasonic and LG were the top five TV sellers by revenue in the fourth quarter, DisplaySearch said. LG, Samsung, TTE, Philips and Sony were the top five in terms of shipments, reflecting the strength of CRT shipments. ®

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