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Global 4K UHD TV Shipments Up 700%

London – Global 4K Ultra HD TV shipments are expected to exceed 11.6 million units in 2014, on the way to topping 100 million units by 2018, according to new research issued by Futuresource Consulting.

The firm said 4K UHD sets are expected to grow nearly 700 percent year on year in 2014, with China accounting for over 70 percent of global demand.

In Western Europe and North America, share of 4K demand for 2014 will represent 10 percent and 8 percent respectively, with demand expected to grow at 72 percent CAGR until 2018.

“4K adoption is forecast to grow quickly from 2015 onwards with over 100 million shipments projected in 2018, representing 38 percent of the total TV market,” said David Tett, Futuresource research analyst. “An indication that 4K is quickly becoming mainstream was the availability of many sets at discounted prices during last month’s Black Friday.”

Sales of 4K TVs are expected to be concentrated on the larger screen sizes, generally 50 inches, but screens smaller than 40 inches will become more widely available with 4K in the coming years, Tett said. Native 4K content remains scarce, and many consumers are currently buying sets on the basis that they can up-scale HD content and will be future-proof, in preparation for when native 4K content is more widely available.

Meanwhile, the overall worldwide television market will reach 234 million unit shipments in 2014, representing 3 percent growth from 2013, but will see trade value drop 4 percent to $97 billion, according to Futuresource.

The market research firm said falling average retail prices from $652 to $608 are keeping revenue down.

For North American, the market “is anticipated to be stable at 40 million units in 2014, with Latin America on track to achieve 17 percent growth this year to 32 million units. Most countries in this region have yet to complete their analog switch offs,” said Jack Wetherill, Futuresource senior market analyst.

In other markets, “the anticipated boost from the World Cup in the first half of the year has been followed by a better than expected Q3. Europe is forecast to exceed 57 million units in 2014, with Western Europe enjoying 2 percent year-on-year growth, while Eastern Europe remains flat, Wetherill said.

The Asia Pacific region is forecast to see 88 million shipments in 2014, growing 4 percent CAGR until 2018, when it will exceed 100 million units.

“This market has yet to reach saturation and the digital switchover in some countries is still to be completed. It is anticipated that the worldwide TV market will grow at 3 percent CAGR until 2018, when shipments will exceed 260 million units,” said Wetherill.

In addition to 4K, smart features remain an important factor in TV sales, Futuresource said. Sales of smart TVs in 2014 will account for over half of the market for the first time, rising to 82 percent of sales by 2018, Futuresource predicts.

“Although the industry spotlight is focused upon UHD and curved screens, smart TV continues to permeate the market as a value added feature, and user interface refinements like voice and gesture recognition, tile-driven navigation and device mirroring have substantial consumer appeal at point of sale as part of a premium set proposition,” said Wetherill.

“The migration to larger screens is expected to continue,” according to Tett, “partly aided by 4K, as the benefits of the higher resolution are easier to see in the larger screen sizes. 50-inch and larger sets (both HD and 4K) are forecast to account for almost 25 percent of the market in 2018, in comparison with 18 percent currently. The USA leads the way followed closely by the Asia pacific region.”

A full report is available by contacting Andy Watson at [email protected].