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IHS: 50% of Q1 TV Shipments 'Smart'

29 Jun, 2016 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Fueled by Chinese and North American consumer demand, more than 50% of televisions shipped globally in the first quarter were so-called “smart” units connected to the Internet. While 80% of Chinese TVs shipped were Internet-enabled, in North America, 56% of units featured apps.

“China and North America continue to experience growth in the share of smart TVs, and the feature is now established in entry-level products,” Paul
Gray, principal analyst with IHS Technology, said in a statement. “It’s a remarkable result.”

By contrast, only 38% of sets shipped in Japan are Internet-connected, the lowest percentage since 2011. European Smart TV shipments have remained stable, approaching 45% over the past two years.

“It’s all about content,” said Gray, “where the local [content] offering is relatively weak, consumers are reluctant to pay extra for built-in Internet TV services. Good streaming content in local languages remains the key to value in smart TV.”

IHS said the Android operating system accounts for nearly 50% of smart TVs shipped, while open-source Tizen OS leads all other regions and accounts for 43% of smart TVs shipped outside China.

North America has an additional Smart TV platform option: Roku. For Chinese brands, the addition of the Roku TV capability significantly bolsters product value. In fact, Chinese brands are typically shipping around 10% to 20% of products with smart features in Europe, whereas Roku partners in North America ship over 90% with the features.

“Smart TV is becoming a critical factor in Chinese brands’ export development,” Gray said. “Roku TVs in North America have proved a powerful way for aggressive brands to build share with consumers confident of the value of their purchases."

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