With CES 2014 just about to start, interest in 4K TVs is currently something close to fever pitch as a critical moment is approaching in the market.
And 2014 is set to be the year that Ultra HD moves from the early adopting crowd in to the living rooms of more mainstream consumers, according to a report from analysts NPD Display Search. At least that will be the case in China where it seems tech-savvy customers can’t get enough of those extra pixels.
According to the NPD DisplaySearch Quarterly Global TV Shipment and Forecast Report, 4K TV shipments are expected to have totalled 1.9 million units in 2013, rising to nearly 13 million in 2014. China will have an 87% share of units in 2013, dropping only slightly to 78% in 2014.
13 million sales forecast for 2014So that means that China will lead all other regions combined, by a factor of three in the year ahead but other regions will catch up, although China will remain the leading region for 4K×2K TV shipments throughout the forecast, enabled by huge competition and bargain bin price points.
Ultra HD average prices are expected to fall below $1,000 in China during 2014, while the worldwide average remains over $1,100 and close to $2,000 in North America but whichever way you look at it, prices are set to tumble in 2014 and we should see the evidence of this in Vegas next week.
Figure 1: 4K×2K LCD and OLED TV Forecast
“As the manufacturers of 4K×2K TV LCD panels and sets expect strong growth in 2014, the supply chain focus on growing demand is rising dramatically,” noted Paul Gagnon, director for global TV research at NPD DisplaySearch. “Panel makers are planning for nearly 27 million 4K×2K TV panels to be produced next year, while brands have somewhat more modest expectations for the end market. There is a significant difference in outlook between China and other regions.”
According to NPD, Total TV shipments should grow about 1% in 2014 to 229 million units, with LCD TV shipments rising to 220 million, or 96% of overall units. As we know, Plasma and CRT TV shipments are declining rapidly, and they predict they will end altogether by 2016, although it might be sooner than that for plasma, if LG and Samsung follow Panasonic’s lead.
Figure 2: TV Shipment Growth by Technology
Display Search say that OLED TV tech is not likely to yield significant growth for two to three more years, which we’d probably agree with, to an extent, which will make 4K TVs the interim focus for the manufacturers but we’ll know more by this time next week!
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