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Flat panel sales grew over 7% year on year in 2012

According to the most recent analysis by Futuresource Consulting, sales of flat panels in 4Q12 were flat compared with 3Q12, but up overall for the year - although many brands apparently made good gains.

The flat panel market reached a total of 1.1 million units in Q4 2012, a flat performance on Q3, falling 4.6% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ), but growing 7.18% year-on-year (YoY) according to the latest round of research from Futuresource Consulting.

This performance, said the report, hides the fact that there was a strong performance from a number of brands for professional displays which experienced double digit growth QoQ.

Key countries in the Americas experienced a disappointing flat or negative QoQ performance, after having an increase in activity in Q2 and Q3. Moreover, leading countries are unable to find consistent growth and face unpredictable spikes in business.

The EMEA region, without Turkey’s results, had a strong performance with double-digit QoQ growth, according to Futuresource. The developing MEA region continues to show its potential with good sales in not only more established markets, such as Israel and Saudi Arabia, but in the emerging markets within North Africa. There were also positive signs in the Western European markets, with the majority of countries experiencing strong QoQ growth.

The Asia Pacific region is dominated by the Chinese market, which saw a massive QoQ drop of 28%, said Futuresource, following a particularly strong Q2 and Q3 for many domestic vendors. The Korean market on the other hand has recovered well through 2012, after a poor start of 9,100 units in Q1, finishing with full-year sales of over 64,000 units to the benefit of the Korean-based vendors.

Through 2012, the market saw a dramatic increase in the number of LED lit professional displays, with full-year sales reaching 352,000 units, which accounted for 21.3% of LCD sales, up from 4.7% in 2011.

The pure professional display market saw a downturn, dropping 14.4% QoQ which was affected by the first phase of the Turkish education ending. However, the YoY performance of the professional display market at 2.7% still had positive growth.

Larger screen sales (50″) experienced a significant increase in 2012; this category accounted for 30.1% as opposed to 24.7% in 2011. Panasonic remains the key vendor in the large screen category, but YoY growth has been aggressive from competing brands. This trend is expected to continue through 2013 as vendors expand their product ranges and verticals moving towards more standardised flat panel solutions.