Sales of 4K Ultra HD televisions have barely scratched the surface in the overall TV market, but that’s all going to change in the next few years, with one analyst firm confidently predicting shipments to break the 20 million barrier within the next four years.
The prediction comes courtesy of Futuresource Consulting, which insists that the growing availability of 4K content will drive future sales.
Simon Bryant, Futuresource’s head of consumer electronics, said that last years fall in shipments was just a blip, with growth in the market likely to be evident at the end of the year.
“Emerging markets will see 6% growth in this year, accounting for more than 60% of the world’s overall TV shipments,” said Bryant.
Bryant acknowledged that developed markets are shrinking, something he blames on the “saturation” of flat-screen TVs. However, with developing markets leading the way, he said that global markets should see 4% CAGR until 2017, at which time annual TV shipments should surpass 270 million units.
With regards to 4K, Bryant warned that there’s still a two-to-three year bedding-in period as consumers become familiar with the technology, but after that the market research firm expects sales to skyrocket.
“4K is on track to become a significant segment of the technology market. This year alone we’re expecting shipments in the region of 780,000, up from just 62,000 units last year. By 2017, we’ll see 22 million units shipped worldwide. Increased awareness and the growing availability of 4K content will drive sales in the sector from 2015,” stated Bryant.
One of the biggest reasons for this optimism is the fervour with which manufacturers have been pushing 4K technologies. Panel manufacturers and TV brands have been seeking the next hot trigger in the industry for some time, and even though 3D TVs failed to catch on among consumers, things are likely to be different this time.
“4K is a more natural progression, and though manufacturers face some challenges with regard to production yields and content, these can be overcome,” continued Bryant.
“The HEVC codec is being improved and tested all the time, and this will smooth the way for 4K broadcasting in future. Solutions are being tested and evaluated as we speak.”
Somewhat surprisingly, China is leading the field when it comes to 4K TV adoption, thanks to a proliferation of low cost televisions manufactured by domestic brands. However, with global brands like Samsung, LG and Sony all pushing their own 4K products, key markets like North America will likely catch onto the trend soon.
Source: TV Technology