Interest in 4K TVs (with 3840*2160 resolution) is at a fever pitch as a critical moment is approaching in the market: 4K is transitioning from early adopters to more mainstream consumers. Rapidly falling prices, particularly in China, will fuel adoption, according to analysts from NPD DisplaySearch.
“As the manufacturers of 4K TV LCD panels and sets expect strong growth in 2014, the supply chain focus on growing demand is rising dramatically. Panel makers are planning for nearly 27 million 4K 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,” said Paul Gagnon, director for global TV research at NPD DisplaySearch.
According to the latest NPD DisplaySearch quarterly global TV shipment and forecast report, 4K TV shipments are expected to total 1.9 million units in 2013, rising to 12.7 million units in 2014. China will have an 87% share of 4K TV units in 2013, dropping only slightly to 78% in 2014. This means that 4K TV shipments within China will lead all other regions combined by a factor of three in 2014. Eventually other regions will catch up, but China will remain the leading region for 4K TV shipments throughout the forecast, enabled by intense competition and very low price points. 4K TV average prices are expected to fall below $1000 in China during 2014, while the worldwide average remains over $1100 and close to $2000 in North America.
Overall TV demand is expected to fall 3% in 2013, after a 6% decline in 2012. Overall demand in many regions is still affected by the accelerated demand in 2010 and 2011, which pulled in demand from future years. 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. Plasma and CRT TV shipments are declining rapidly, ending by 2016.
“OLED TV technology is not expected to yield significant growth for two to three more years. 4K has therefore become a technology focal point in the interim,” said Mr. Gagnon.