Although there have been some weak overall TV sales activity of late, retailers are continuing to stock more 3D TVs in the third quarter. Why? The expectation is that more 3D TV content is coming.
Shipments of 3D LCD TV panels reached 6.6 million units in third-quarter 2011 -- a 27% rise, per NPD DisplaySearch. Although 3D TV remains a small segment of the overall flat-screen global television set base -- projected to have a 10% share by year's end -- it represents 27% of overall TV manufacturing sales revenues.
NPD DisplaySearch expects another strong growth period for 3D TVs in the fourth quarter, up 30%. Estimates are that 3D TVs will reach 21.5 million units in 2011.
David Hsieh, vice president, Greater China Market for NPD DisplaySearch, stated: "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."
Analysts believe the rising levels of 3D TV penetration may lead to more content availability.
Looking to the future, estimates are that 3D TVs will ship more than 1.5 million per quarter from second-quarter 2012 onward. This would be up from 250,000 units in third-quarter 2011.
Overall, DisplaySearch says the total TV market shipments were up 3.7% on year in third-quarter 2011 to 62 million units -- a 12% increase from second-quarter 2011.