LG Gained, Samsung Lost Share in Booming Advanced TV Market in Q1 2021

Published June 1, 2021

Strong demand for expensive home theater systems from pandemic-constrained consumers led to triple-digit percentage increases in sales of the largest screen sizes for Advanced TVs, according to the new DSCC Quarterly Advanced TV Shipment and Forecast Report, now available to subscribers. This report covers the worldwide premium TV market, including the most advanced TV technologies: WOLED, QD Display, QDEF, Dual Cell LCD and MiniLED with 4K and 8K resolution. The report looks at current and future TV shipments and revenues by technology, region, brand, resolution and size, and forecasts the growth of all of these technologies. The report includes the shipment result for Q1 2021 and a forecast to 2026. This week we will cover the Q1 2021 results, focusing on the brand competition in the premium segment, and next week we will cover our updated forecast.

We define an “Advanced TV” (capitalized) as any TV with an advanced display technology feature, including all OLED TVs, 8K LCD TVs and all LCD TVs with quantum dot technology. The historical data in the report allows analysis by feature for Advanced LCD TVs, including:

  • QDEF TV: TV using a Quantum Dot Enhancement Film; these TVs are sold as “QLED” by Samsung, TCL, and others;
  • MiniLED: LCD TVs with a MiniLED backlight, as sold by TCL starting in 2019 and introduced by Samsung, LG, Hisense and others in 2021;
  • Dual Cell: LCD TVs employing dual-cell technology, as introduced by Hisense in 2019;
  • LCD Others: this category includes LCD TVs with 8K resolution, that do not fall in any other category.

The historical data for OLED TV includes only one product configuration, LGD’s White-OLED (WOLED) technology, but the forecast in the report includes QD Display, which designates QD OLED and successor technologies such as QNED and EL-QLED, as well as Rollable OLED and MicroLED. Our forecast for MicroLED TV is based on product sizes up to 110”, as products in larger sizes such as Samsung’s 146” The Wall, belong in a different category than “TV”.

Advanced TV shipments in Q1 2021 jumped by 70% Y/Y to 3.8M units, as shown in the first chart here. While in 2020, we observed that the smaller screen sizes of Advanced TVs recorded the biggest gains, in the first quarter of 2021 it was all about the biggest sizes. Advanced LCD TVs of 75” increased 158% Y/Y to 336K, and Advanced LCD TVs larger than 75” increased 103% to 123K, while OLED TVs 77” and larger increased by 430% to 85K, more than the total cumulative volume of this category for all years up to the end of 2019.

While OLED TV share of all Advanced TV had declined during 2018-2020, the additional capacity from LG Display’s Guangzhou fab combined with rising LCD TV panel prices helped OLED TV regain some share in the premium category. OLED TV shipments increased by 97% Y/Y in Q1 2021, while Advanced LCD TV shipments increased by a more modest 61% Y/Y, and OLED TV share increased from 26% in Q1 2020 to 30% in Q1 2021.

Advanced TV Shipments by Size and Display Technology, 2018 to 2021

Source: DSCC Quarterly Advanced TV Shipment and Forecast Report
Source: DSCC Quarterly Advanced TV Shipment and Forecast Report

Perhaps even better for TV makers than unit growth, Advanced TV revenues increased by 73% Y/Y to $5.2B as the mix of Advanced TV products shifted to larger screen sizes and as higher-priced OLED TV gained share. Revenues for 75” Advanced LCD TVs increased by 105%, those for >75” increased by 106% and revenues for 77”+ OLED TV increased by 358% as the sales volume increased dramatically with only modest price declines.

Overall, OLED TV revenues increased by 111% Y/Y on the strength of increasing 77” OLED TV sales as well as sales of 48”, which was introduced in Q2 2020. Advanced LCD TV revenues increased by 54% Y/Y as the mix shifted to large sizes and price increases remained modest. As a result, OLED TV revenue share of Advanced TV increased from 33% in Q1 2020 to 41% in Q4 2020.

The report’s pivot tables allow an analysis of brand share by screen size, region, technology, resolution and other variables. In Q1 2020, among all Advanced TV products, Samsung increased unit shipments by 50% Y/Y and maintained its leading position but lost some share with growth slower than the market. LG Electronics increased shipments by 115% with big increases in OLED and some sales of Advanced LCD TVs and LG’s share increased from 16% in Q1 2020 to 20% in Q1 2021. TCL Advanced LCD TV shipments increased by 213% Y/Y and TCL passed Sony for the #3 position in Advanced TV units with a 6% share.

Samsung also leads the industry in revenue share for Advanced TV, as shown in the next chart here, but Samsung’s revenue share has fallen by 13% after peaking at 55% in Q1 2020. LG and TCL, among others, gained revenue share at Samsung’s expense; LG share increased to 28% in Q1 2021, up 7% from a year ago, while TCL share increased to 6% in Q1 2021, doubling its share from the prior year, and closely trailing Sony at 7% for the #3 spot.

Advanced TV Revenue Share by Brand, 2018 to 2021

Source: DSCC Quarterly Advanced TV Shipment and Forecast Report
Source: DSCC Quarterly Advanced TV Shipment and Forecast Report

The report divides worldwide shipments into eight geographic regions. Western Europe and North America have continued to be the largest regions for Advanced TV. These two regions represented a combined 64% of Advanced TV units and 70% of revenue in Q1 2021. Shipments to Western Europe increased 104% Y/Y in Q1 2021 and revenues increased by 102% Y/Y. Shipments to North America increased 79% Y/Y and revenues increased 83% Y/Y as sales of big TVs surged. Shipments and revenues in China increased by 109% and 108% Y/Y, respectively, from Q1 2020, which was suppressed by the pandemic, and China passed Asia Pacific as the third largest region by Advanced TV revenue.

The PowerPoint report includes an analysis of brand share by region and product segment, allowing a more focused view of brand share battles. The share battle in China has gotten increasingly intense, as shown by the next chart here. China has become a true battleground with four companies with double-digit percentage market share. Huawei surpassed Samsung in both units and revenue in Q4 2020, to take the #1 position for Advanced TV in China, and Huawei increased its lead in Q1 2021. Samsung fell to #2 in units and revenue while Hisense and TCL competed in a close race for #3. LGE fares poorly in China with only 1% share in Q1 2021, and OLED TV, in general, has much lower share in China at only 10% share of shipments in Q1 2021.

Advanced TV Revenue Share in China by Brand, 2018 to 2021

Source: DSCC Quarterly Advanced TV Shipment and Forecast Report
Source: DSCC Quarterly Advanced TV Shipment and Forecast Report

In North America, Samsung enjoys a dominant position on the strength of its large-screen product portfolio but has seen its share erode as competitors in both Advanced LCD and OLED TV grow share. LG increased Advanced TV shipments to North America by 156% Y/Y to increase its unit share to 20% and its revenue share to 27%. TCL continued to gain as a growing force in the Advanced TV market in North America, rising from 4% share in Q1 2020 to 12% unit share in Q1 2021, passing Vizio for the #3 spot in units. Perhaps even more impressive, TCL passed Sony for the #3 spot in NA revenue at 13% on the strength of sales of MiniLED TVs.

In Western Europe, Samsung held its position as the #1 brand but saw its share erode with increasing competition. Samsung captured 64% share of Advanced TV units and 50% of revenue in Western Europe in Q1 2021, but these figures were down 4% and 7% for units and revenue, respectively. Samsung remains ahead of its nearest competitor, but LGE gained at Samsung’s expense with 24% and 35% share of units and revenue, respectively. The Advanced TV market in Western Europe is increasingly becoming a two-horse race as Sony’s share has stagnated and other brands including, Philips and Panasonic, have lost share.

Another interesting cut of the brand data is the battle by screen size, with the 55” battle shown in the next chart. After leading the category for more than two years, Samsung has been passed by LG for the top spot, as LG revenues for 55” Advanced TVs increased 93% Y/Y while Samsung revenues for 55” TVs declined by 2%. Samsung’s unit share of 55” Advanced TV declined from 51% in Q1 2020 to 42% in Q1 2021, and its revenue share declined from 48% to 34%. LG’s share of 55” Advanced TV units increased Y/Y from 20% to 23%, and LG’s revenue share increased to 37%. Sony, Panasonic and TCL round out the top five brands for 55” Advanced TV.

Worldwide Advanced TV Revenue Share for 55” by Brand, Q1 2018 to Q1 2021

Source: DSCC Quarterly Advanced TV Shipment and Forecast Report
Source: DSCC Quarterly Advanced TV Shipment and Forecast Report

In the largest size category of 70”+ Samsung has seen its position erode from a near-monopoly in 2018 to 2019 to mere dominance in 2020-2021 as LGE and Sony sales of 77” OLED and TCL sales of 75” LCD have increased dramatically. In Q1 2021, Samsung still captured 67% unit share of 70”+ Advanced TV shipments and 59% revenue share, but these figures were down from 81% and 77%, respectively, from Q1 2020. Meanwhile, LG’s revenue share increased from 10% to 21% during the same time period, and both Sony and TCL gained two share points.

The last chart here shows one last valuable cut of the data, units by brand by price band. The pivot tables allow for this analysis by any time period, and the chart here shows the market by price band for Q1 2021. The chart shows that Samsung’s leading position in Advanced TV is mostly a function of its dominance in Advanced TVs under $1000. Samsung’s strategy of pushing its QLED product line toward mainstream price points has allowed it to thrive, but Vizio, TCL and Hisense also appear as competitors at these lower prices. LG’s OLED TVs give it the leading position in the range of $1000-$2000 and a strong position in the market above $3000, and TCL’s MiniLED TVs have given that brand a foothold in the price range of $2000-$3000.

Worldwide Advanced TV Units by Price Band for Q1 2021

Source: DSCC Quarterly Advanced TV Shipment and Forecast Report
Source: DSCC Quarterly Advanced TV Shipment and Forecast Report

DSCC’s Quarterly Advanced TV Shipment and Forecast Report includes technical descriptions of all major advanced TV display technologies, plus quarterly shipment results from Q1 2018 through Q1 2020, sortable by technology, region, brand, resolution and size, and includes pivot tables for analysis of units, revenues, ASPs and other metrics. The report includes DSCC’s quarterly forecast for five years across technology, region, resolution and size. Readers interested in subscribing to the DSCC Advanced TV Shipment Report should contact gerry@displaysupplychain.com.

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Written by

Bob O'Brien