Two difficult trends have converged on the India LCD TV market. First, growth has slowed from 100% Y/Y in Q1’11 to 10% Y/Y in Q1’12, according to our research. More recently, the decline of the Indian Rupee to 56/$ (a 12% decline since the beginning of April), has caused input costs for LCD TV brands in India to increase.
LCD TV brands are struggling with the growing costs, which if passed onto the customers may further dampen the growth rate of LCD TV. At the same time, the TV brands have a pressing need to increase sales in the Indian hinterland, which requires a strong value proposition. With the combination of low-cost direct LED backlights and efficiencies in the LCD TV supply chain through the shift to “cells” there are now options for achieving just that.
Indian TV brands have indicated receiving offers at the recent Canton fair for 32” direct LED backlit LCD TVs for under $200 in volume. This would give brands room to price attractively even with the weaker Rupee. These low-cost direct LED sets can be marketed as “LED” with the implication of improved technology. This should attract customers particularly in rural areas and small towns who have not been exposed to much marketing for LED LCD TVs. The down side is that direct LED TV’s are thick and do not fit the conception of LED as a slim form factor set.
With Chinese OEMs showcasing their direct LED lineups for the Indian market at the Canton fair in April, it is possible that products will be in the market by July.