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4K LCD TV share won't reach 1% thru 2017

Posted: 08 Oct 2012  Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:IHS  4K LCD TV  AMOLED 

According to IHS, consumer demand for TVs with the ultra-high-definition 4K resolution will remain negligible in the next five years. In fact, global shipments of 4K LCD TVs will rise to only 2.1 million units in 2017, up from 4,000 this year, added the market research firm. This comes down to about 0.8 per cent of the global LCD TV shipments in the said period.

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Figure: Global 4K TV Shipment Forecast (Thousands of Units, and Percentage of LCD-TV Shipments)
Sources: IHS iSuppli Research, October 2012.

The 4K TV segment recently has garnered attention with Japanese manufacturer Sony announcing an 84in 4K LCD TV priced at $25,000. LG Electronics of South Korea also launched an 84in LCD TV for $20,000. Japan's Toshiba is offering a 55in model priced at $10,000. For their part, Chinese brands Hisense and Konka announced that they will launch 84in 4K sets this year.

However, IHS believes that neither consumers nor TV brands will have the interest required to make the 4K LCD TV market successful.

"If you have a television that is 60in or larger and are watching video that has a 3,840 x 2,160 resolution, then a 4K TV makes sense," said Tom Morrod, director, TV systems and technology research for IHS. "However, a very limited amount of content is available at the 4K resolution. Meanwhile, because of high prices and other issues, the market for super-sized, 60in and larger sets is very small—at only about 1.5 per cent of total TV shipments in 2012. Furthermore, for most people, the 1,080p resolution is good enough. Because of these factors, combined with the massive price tags, the market for 4K sets during the next few years will be limited to very wealthy consumers or to commercial uses."

On the other side of the equation, leading TV brands may be viewing 4K merely as a transitional product.

"The 4K sets can fill the gap at the high-end of TV brands' product lines until the arrival of the next-generation active-matrix organic light-emitting diodes televisions (AMOLED TVs)," Morrod said. "Japanese brands are offering 4K product because they need to have a competitive alternative to the AMOLED TVs being sold by their rivals in South Korea, Samsung and LG Electronics. Meanwhile, the South Korean companies are having difficulties producing AMOLED panels, saying they will need two more years to achieve competitive volume and pricing. Therefore, the Korean brands are offering 4K sets as a transitional step until their AMOLED TVs are more widely available."

The sets are known as 4K because the televisions sport a pixel format of 3,840 x 2,160—four times that of a typical high-definition set at 1,920 x 1,080 pixels.





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