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IHS: UHD TV Having Minimal Market Impact

23 Jul, 2014 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Ultra-HD television, the next-generation console featuring four times the resolution of 1080p, continues to underwhelm at the marketplace, according to new data from IHS.

In a report that underscores a separate study by The Diffusion Group, IHS suggests that UHD TV pricing remains too high to gain meaningful share.

UHD TV shipments share reached 5% among the top 13 LCD brands in May, up from 4% in April, 3% in March and 2% in February. There are no UHD plasma-display-panel televisions, and UHD organic light-emitting-diode (OLED) TVs will be available at the end of this year. The 13 brands account for more than 75% of total LCD TV shipments, and represent more than 90% of overall UHD LCD TV shipments.

While the UHD TV market increases at a glacial pace, shipments this year are projected to grow to 14.5 million units, up from 2 million in 2013.

“Growth in this year’s global UHD TV market is a reflection of plans among TV makers, especially the Chinese, to increase sales. And expansion in UHD TV volume is mostly scheduled for the second half this year,” Jusy Hong, principal analyst for consumer devices at IHS, said in a statement.

China is the world’s largest consumer TV market, and its trends can be extended to other major consumer electronics territories in the world, according to IHS.

Among UHD TV makers in May, the Chinese had the largest proportion of UHD TV shipments in relation to total LCD TVs, at 9%; followed by the South Koreans at 5% and by Japan at 2%. The South Koreans, however, shipped more UHD TVs, thanks to the prowess of its two major manufacturers — Samsung and LG — which also happen to be the world’s largest TV makers.

The companies accounted for 46% of total UHD TV shipments in May, compared with a combined total of 45% for the six Chinese makers: Changhong, Haier, Hisense, Konka, Skyworth and TCL. Chinese brands are popular in their own country but not overseas, and the challenge facing them if they wish to increase global market share is to boost quality, not just relying on lower pricing, IHS believes.

Flat-panel television sales overall amounted to 18.1 million units in May, down 6.4% from April but up 7% from the same time a year ago. Of the total, LCD TVs — including UHD sets — accounted for 17.4 million units.

Meanwhile, plasma TVs have enjoyed higher-than-expected sales (708,000 units) during the first half of this year because of promotions tied to the World Cup, but shipments are projected to fall sharply now.

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