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Global TV shipments hit record high last quarter, report says

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As Samsung and LG both report profit increases

Samsung’s TV shipments rose sharply last quarter.
Image: Samsung

Global TV shipments hit a “historical high” in the third quarter of this year, according to a new report from TrendForce. 62.05 million units were shipped over the course of the quarter, a 12.9 percent increase over the same period last year, and 38.8 percent increase from the previous quarter. Both Samsung and LG, the two largest TV manufacturers, said today that they’re expecting profits to increase this quarter compared to last year.

TrendForce gave a couple of different factors for the historic high. It said that in North America, TV demand increased by 20 percent as people spent more time at home due to the pandemic. The quarterly spike also accounts for TV shipment that were delayed from the first half of the year, according to the supply-chain analytics company.

TrendForce’s report says the top five TV manufacturers all saw profit increases last quarter.
Image: TrendForce

Although all five TV manufacturers saw their shipments increase, TCL lead the pack with a 52.7 percent increase year-over-year. Samsung’s shipments were up 36.4 percent year-over-year, and 67.1 percent compared to Q2. LG, meanwhile, saw a smaller increase of 6.7 percent compared to Q3 2019, but a massive 81.7 percent jump since last quarter.

Samsung and LG both seem to have benefited from the uptick in TV demand based upon the preliminary guidance each announced today. However, CNBC reports that Samsung’s profit increase is thought to have been largely driven by smartphone sales and earnings from its memory division. Meanwhile LG has seen strong performance in both its TV and home appliance businesses, according to Yonhap, but it’s more modest 4.3 percent profit increase was helped by cost-cutting in its mobile division.

Despite the increases in shipments, it’s not all good news for the TV industry. TrendForce predicts that TV shipments are expected to be down slightly overall in 2020 compared to 2019. It also notes that panel prices are likely to continue to increase even as the average price paid for TVs in North America decreases, eating into profit margins.