If Apple is indeed planning its own branded HDTV (the rumored “iTV”) it needs to think big. The LCD TV market saw a rapid shift toward sizes larger than 40 inches at the end of 2011, as consumers, particularly in North America and China, took advantage of new sizes and more affordable prices.

As larger sizes such as 46 inches, 47 inches 55 inches, 60 inches and 65 inches are being adopted by consumers, panel makers are also developing other new large size TV panels, including 43 inches, 48 inches, 50 inches, 70 inches, and even 75 inches, 80 inches and larger.

In response to the strong end-market adoption, NPD DisplaySearch (http://www.displaysearch.com) has increased its forecast for LCD TV area demand. According to the “NPD DisplaySearch Quarterly Worldwide FPD Shipment and Forecast Report,” LCD TV panel demand will reach 85 million square meters in 2012, nearly 2% higher than the previous forecast. NPD DisplaySearch has also increased the area demand forecast from 2013 to 2018 to account for increased 40inches+ LCD TV demand.

Features like smart interactive TV, 3D viewing, ultra-slim bezel and direct-type LED backlights are also encouraging end-users to choose larger sizes for a better viewing experience. The percentage of 40-inch plus in LCD TV demand has been increasing as consumers continue to adopt larger sizes. In 2015, 40-inch plus sizes are expected to account for 38% of total LCD TV panel demand, which was previously forecasted at 34%.

— Dennis Sellers