Smartphones is not the only device category that is seeing a slump. The good old television too is not seeing enough demand, at least in the first quarter of this year. According to the latest numbers by research firm TrendForce, as many as 49.87 million TV units were shipped globally in Q1 2019, which is a 0.5 percent increase compared with the same period in 2018, but is actually a 24.6 percent decline compared to the last quarter of 2018 which also included the festive period shopping. The biggest gainers, while everyone around them seems to be losing out, are Chinese companies Xiaomi and TCL.
In the current rankings, Samsung continues to lead the TV space with 9.42 million shipments in Q1 2019, but that is 5.8 percent decline from Q1 2018. The other Korean TV company, LG Electronics, retains second place with 6.5 million TVs shipped globally. But LG also saw a 7.1 percent decline compared with the same period last year. Both companies are relying heavily on demand for newer technology—Samsung is pushing the QLED display panel technology while LG continues to push the OLED technology for its TVs.
The biggest gainers are Xiaomi and TCL. Xiaomi shipped 2.85 million units, which is an increase of 93.9 percent compared with Q1 2018. This represents the second successive strong quarter for Xiaomi’s Mi TVs. TCL shipped 5.69 million units in the quarter, which is also a jump of 43.1 percent. The only other gainer in the top 10 list is Skyworth, the company that also sells the Metz brand of televisions in India—they saw an increase of 6.8 percent in shipments, with 2.35 million TVs shipped.
Japanese company Sony, which makes the very popular Sony Bravia televisions, shipped only 2.10 million units, which is a decline of 16.7 percent.
The numbers in the next quarter could make for interesting reading. Companies such as HiSense and TCL have relied heavily on making inroads into the North American market to boost sales. They could be significantly impacted by the trade war between US and China. Xiaomi, on the other hand, is relying heavily on the sales of Mi TVs in India and other Asian countries, where it has managed to get significant traction because of the really affordable televisions which offer great performance and the smart TV functionality. A lot of TV makers in India are also pushing sales with special offers during the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 extravaganza.