In spite of all the grandiose displays on show at events like CES 2014, it’s fair to say that 4K TVs haven’t exactly been selling like hot cakes over the last year. Not that it’s really surprising, since most of us would have to sell an arm and a leg to be able to afford one. After all, it’s kind of tough to justify splashing out several grand on an ultra high-definition (UHD) TV when you won’t even be able to find anything to watch on it.
Even so, 4K is faring a hell of a lot better than OLED TV, the other display technology that’s originally expected to take the world by storm, which has by all accounts so far barely even registered in the minds of most consumers.
Or at least, that’s the case in The Netherlands anyway…
4K Ultra HD televisions are so rampant over there in comparison to OLED that they’ve managed to outsell models of the latter by an awesome 45 to 1, according to figures from market research firm GfK that were first reported by HomeCinemaMagazine.nl. GfK says that the uptick in 4KTV sales is evidence that Ultra HD is on the rise in The Netherlands, pointing out that while only 160 4K TVs were sold in the first three quarters of last year, this rose drastically to 900 models in the fourth quarter.
In comparison, OLED TVs may as well not even exist – just 20 models were sold throughout the entire country last year.
The numbers are slightly surprising because OLED televisions do have one thing going for them – you don’t need 4K content to get full enjoyment from the technology (though that will change with the new breed of 4K OLEDs we saw at CES). Almost certainly, 4K’s popularity in The Netherlands is down to pricing (and perhaps more aggressive marketing) rather than content availability – the average 4K set sold for €4,629 compared to €8,000 for the OLED TVs.
OLED’s case isn’t helped very much by the fact that few manufacturers are able to make them properly – at CES, only LG said it would bring a new lineup of OLED TVs this year as it looks to further its lead in the niche. Meanwhile, Samsung seems to have put its OLED ambitions on the back burner, as it didn’t announce any new models for the year ahead. Most likely, its plan is to push UHD TVs even harder whilst it tries to work out how to make OLED displays more efficiently.
GfK also noted that plasma TVs are also on the decline in The Netherlands, following trends in bigger markets. According to its research, plasma’s market share fell to just 3 percent last year, a figure that’s likely to decline even further now that Panasonic has given up the ghost.