DisplaySearch of the US announced the results of the research on the global PDP market in the first quarter of 2008. Though the volume of shipments declined 19% from the preceding quarter due to seasonal influences, it reached 3.5 million units, an increase of 53% on a year-over-year basis.

There are four reasons why the volume of shipments drastically increased. First, the shipment of 32-inch panels is still rapidly growing. Second, the demand for low-priced flat-screen TVs, whose market is developing, is very active because the supply of LCD panels is continuing to be short.

Third, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co Ltd started shipping 46-inch 1080p panels. Fourth, the prices of 42-inch HDTV PDPs were US$114 cheaper than HDTV LCD panels of the same size as of March 2008, though DisplaySearch predicts that the price gap will narrow toward the end of 2008.

The rate of decline in the prices of PDPs slowed down in the first quarter of 2008 compared with that in the first half of 2007. The rate of decline is 31% on a year-over-year basis and 6% from the preceding quarter.

By panel size, the prices of 42-inch PDPs declined 1-2% on average from the preceding quarter. On the other hand, the rate of decline in the prices of 50-inch and larger panels accelerated. The prices of 55- to 59-inch 1080p panels and 50-inch panels decreased by about 10% and 4-7%, respectively, from the preceding quarter.

As for the volume of shipments by manufacturer, LG Electronics Inc took over the lead from Matsushita, whose share of the PDP market decreased 9.8% from the preceding quarter to 27.0% and volume of shipments increased 32% on a year-over-year basis. Matsushita has lost its first place for the first time since the third quarter of 2006.

LG increased its share of the market by 6.4% from the preceding quarter to 34.8% and its volume of shipments by 97% on a year-over-year basis. Samsung SDI Co Ltd, which came second for the first time, grew its share by 5.4% from the preceding quarter to 30.5%. Its volume of shipments hiked by 95% on a year-over-year basis due to the increase in the shipment of 42-inch panels.

Matsushita came third followed by Hitachi Ltd and Pioneer Corp, whose shares decreased, on a year-over-year basis, by 2% to 4.4% and by 0.1% to 3.1%, respectively. Their volumes of shipments dropped 35% and 34%, respectively, on a year-over-year basis. In March 2008, Pioneer announced that it will withdraw from PDP production (See related article).

Shares of the PDP market
Shares of the PDP market
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