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Flat panel display sales forecast revised downward

NPD is still predicting growth for public displays, just less growth than it previously forecast

Research firm NPD Group reports that the global market for public displays remains strong, but in recent quarters, flat panel display manufacturers have emphasized revenue and profit over volume, leading NDP to lower its overall unit shipment outlook for the category.

Production of plasma displays continues to wind down and LCD-based commercial displays have yet to fully fill the void. The move away from plasma led the public display market to fall 13 per cent year over year, but in a bright spot LCD public display shipments were up 23 per cent year over year, according to the NPD DisplaySearch Quarterly FPD Public Display Shipment and Forecast Report.

The firm is still forecasting strong growth, predicting a market nearing 12 million units sold in 2018. That would be an increase from just under two million in 2011. The growth, says NPD, will be driven by new applications for public displays such as digital signage, interactive white boards, video walls, electronic menu boards, as well as the global trend toward urbanization in developing countries seen most visibly in China.

“(The) focus on higher-margin, larger-size displays is welcoming news-not just for display brands but for their global integrators alike. With a focus on technologies that have relevance to specific end-market needs, other players in the digital signage ecosystem also benefit by avoiding price comparisons against commoditized TVs,” noted Chris Connery, NPD DisplaySearch vice-president of PC and large format commercial displays, in a statement.