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4KTV Shipments Top Record 3 Million Units in April

15 Jun, 2015 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Spurred by price cuts and greater consumer awareness, shipments of 4KTV panels in April surpassed 3 million units for the first time, representing 14% of all TV panels shipped globally during the month, according to new data from IHS.

Among all TV panels forecast to ship in 2016, 20% are projected to be ultra-high-definition (UHD), due to the trend toward higher-resolution panels in the high-end TV segment and improved production efficiency of panel makers.

The new shipment benchmark underscores the fact all TV manufactures are now on board with 4K and UHD in their product lines, according to Linda Lin, senior analyst, IHS Technology.

Indeed, when AU Optronics introduced the first 55-inch 4KTV panels in Taiwan in 2012, fewer than 100 units were shipped a month. That same year, Innolux introduced the first 50-inch 4KTV panels; however, due to higher manufacturing costs, shipments still totaled less than 10,000 units per month. In 2013, panel makers managed to improve their 4KTV panel yield rates, but shipments still made up less than 2% of all TV panels shipped.

That all changed when 4K entered the Chinese market — a sleeping giant in home entertainment — and unit shipment market share reached 8%. Some of that is due to the influx and acceptance of less expensive red-green-blue-white (RGBW) 4K sub-pixel technology from South Korea, according to IHS.

“South Korean panel makers are now leading the 4KTV panel market,” Lin said. “In fact, LG Display and Samsung Display have risen to become the largest global manufacturers of 4K displays.”

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