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Flat-panel TV shipments to fall in 2012 for the first time ever, IHS claims

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According to research from IHS iSuppli, shipments for flat-panel TVs in the US are due to fall for the first time ever this year.

Samsung TV box
Samsung TV box

It looks like consumers in the United States are cooling to the HDTV craze. Flat-panel TV shipments will drop by five percent (or two million units) this year, the first such dip in the market's history, according to research firm IHS iSuppli. Total shipments will fall to 37.1 million, a stark contrast to the 39.1 HDTVs that hit shelves in 2011 — which itself saw a one percent jump when compared to 2010.

Worse yet, the firm suggests that shipments will continue to plummet for at least the next three years, suggesting that even with a strong push to 3D, shoppers aren't quite as eager to replace their existing sets as manufacturers might have hoped. If there's one bright spot to be found in the data, it's the news that IHS iSuppli expects 2012 to be the year that LED-backlit HDTVs "catapult to dominance" over older models with CCFL lighting in terms of shipments. Flat-panel TVs with LED backlighting are predicted to hit 23.7 million units shipped, whereas the elder technology will account for just 8.7 million. Still, prospects for an already rough TV market aren't looking much better for the remainder of 2012. Maybe home theater buffs are simply content waiting fo the arrival of 4K in the living room before taking out their wallets again.