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Even in a Recession People Must Have HDTVs

At least that’s what the message is from North American TV sales data. According to iSuppli’s research data, LCD TVs are a “must have” item for the North American buyer.

iSuppli reported that North American LCD TV shipments in the first quarter 2009 amounted to 6.3 million units. Although this number shows a decline from the previous quarter, with 8.1 million units, that was with the holiday season making the drop follow the normal seasonal pattern of shipments peaking in the fourth-quarter and falling to the low point of the year in the first quarter.

Compared to a year earlier, however, the first quarter 2009 numbers are up 10.5 percent against the first quarter of 2008, perhaps showing that consumers will continue to buy TVs regardless of the economic climate.

Of course, the recession itself could be helping the TV sales along. With electronics companies and retailers trying to maintain strong sales numbers, incentives to buy that are normally reserved just for the holiday season may be carried over into the new year.

"With LCD-TV sellers in the first quarter maintaining their promotions from the holiday season, and with prices declining, television sales managed to grow compared to the same period a year earlier," said Riddhi Patel, principal analyst, television systems, for iSuppli.