Despite of criticism from the owners of the online content stores, Blu-ray seems to be gaining the momentum. A substantial amount of households in the U.S. already own a Blu-ray device and it looks like there are a lot more potential customers incoming.
Worldwide Blu-ray player shipments are expected to more than double between 2009 and the end of 2010, and the numbers from ABI Research forecast continued growth next year, for a total of more than 62.5 million shipments in 2011. The number is still incomparable to the DVD format, which reached its peak with 141.2 million of DVD players and recorders sold in 2006 (according to In-Stat market tracking company).
In North America standalone Blu-ray players are expected to reach almost 18% penetration among TV-owning households, up from just over 7% in 2009.
"As interesting as this estimate is, it is just part of a larger picture. The solid growth in Blu-ray player shipments highlights a trend within the wider consumer electronics market. Larger, fixed-location devices such as Blu-ray players and flat panel TVs are enjoying rapid adoption relative to many classes of small, portable devices. [...] In addition to price declines, the greater growth potential of TV-centric devices may be due to some of the recent exciting innovations in TV technologies: larger, flatter panels, Internet connectivity, and stereo-3D,” said industry analyst Mike Inouye.
ABI Research believes that CE device vendors can improve their chances of success in this very competitive marketplace by, on one hand, continuing efforts to educate consumers about what they can do with the latest devices, and on the other by striving to keep the user-experience as seamless and painless as possible.