LCD TV shipments beat CRT in Japan in 2005

Shipments of LCD TVs overtook those of CRT sets in Japan in 2005 for the first time, an industry organization said Thursday.

Shipments of LCD (liquid crystal display) televisions overtook those of CRT (cathode ray tube) sets in Japan in 2005 for the first time, an industry organization said Thursday.

LCD TVs are rapidly gaining popularity for their thin profile, and falling prices seen throughout 2005 served to increase sales as the sets came into the spending range of more people. The widespread availability of digital terrestrial television, which brings a clearer picture and high-definition for many programs, also helped increase shipments.

For the full year, domestic shipments of LCD TVs were 4.2 million [m] sets against 4 million [m] for CRT sets, said the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA). Domestic shipments of PDP (plasma display panel) based televisions totalled 468,000, according to JEITA. The organization receives shipment data from Japan's major electronics companies.

The figures work out to a 58 percent rise in LCD TV shipments, a 38 percent jump in PDP shipments, and a 43 percent drop in CRT shipments.

"Last year was a big year," said Takashi Okuda, corporate director of Sharp Corp.'s audio-visual systems group, at a Tokyo news conference on Thursday held to announce a new range of LCD TVs. Sharp is a leading manufacturer of such TVs and Okuda said the company is expecting big things from 2006 thanks in part to the Torino Winter Olympic Games and the World Cup.

The figures came as no surprise to Hisakazu Torii, an analyst at DisplaySearch in Tokyo. He'd predicted earlier that 2005 would be the year in which LCDs overtook CRTs, after the same patter emerged each month in the year, he said Thursday.

Torii expects LCD TV sets will account for 64 percent of domestic shipments this year, PDP sets will be at 6 percent and CRT sets 29 percent. By 2009, DisplaySearch expects 92 percent of all sets shipped in Japan to be flat-panel display models.

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