LCD TV Sales to be Rescued by 4K and Other New Technologies in 2017

by on February 6, 2017

Stephan Jukic – February 6, 2017

The LCD TV market was saved from stagnation in 2016 thanks to 4K TVs, increasing price competition and a robust run of sales in overseas markets like China according to the TV market analysis firm WitsView.

According to the research company’s findings, overall global shipments of LCD TVs in the year 2016 rose by only 1.6% but with variable growth in certain select market segments. Interestingly, the top selling brands for the year were Samsung, LG, Hisense, TCL and Sony. The big brands we all know so well were represented here but the presence of Hisense and TCL (both of which sell more weakly in North America) shows the overseas influence in consumer sales stats for LCD TVs and 4K TVs.


Samsung and LG, Korea’s two main manufacturers of TV technology, took comfortable 1st and 2nd place positions in the 2016 ranking, with 47.9 million and 28.2 million TVs sold and shipped respectively. However, despite its 2nd place ranking, LG did see a 4.1% decline in shipments during the year due to changes in the brand’s strategic aims. Basically, instead of focusing on increasing sales in the aftermath of its reorganization as a company in early 2016, LG focused more on increasing margins for TVs shipped.

In the words of Ricky Lin, a researcher at WitsView,

“Samsung posted flat annual growth for 2016 as it experienced shortages for mid-size panels through the year. As Samsung and other TV brands competed for panel supply and switched to products belonging larger size segments, the average size of LCD TV sets also grew larger than originally anticipated for 2016.”

Other brands like Sony have also put more focus on higher quality, high margin TV sets of the 4K premium type with special new technologies instead of raw sales increases for all their LCD (or OLED) TV panels. Thus, Sony has also shifted focus towards new developments like OLED TVs and higher quality premium 4K HDR TVs for 2017. With this the company is also including new improvements in home-video and audio technologies on a more general level.

The expectation by WitsView for 2017 is to see a greater trend toward this. The major 4K TV manufacturers will thus focus increasingly on 4K HDR and OLED displays with higher price tags and higher profit margins. Along with this focus on premium UHD TV sales, we’ll likely see an increase in the average size of TVs sold for this next year and a growth in the popularity of 4K TVs as a direct corollary of this, since larger LCD TVs tend to be 4K TVs as well.

Overall, WitsView is calculating that global LCD TV shipments will reach about 225 million units sold for an increase of 2.6% over what was the case in 2016. It’s estimated that 30% of these 225 million TVs will be 50 inch or larger TVs and as a result, the percentage of all LCD TVs sold for this new year will probably reach 31.5% (a small percentage of smaller 4K TVs will sell as well).

Premium 4K HDR TVs like the Sony X940E will help the overall TV market in 2017

Premium 4K HDR TVs like the Sony X940E will help the overall TV market in 2017

WitsView also predicts that some of the fiercest competition will be in the premium TV market where the cutting edge of new television technologies is found. Here rivalry between Samsung’s QLED TVs, LG’s newest OLED TVs and Sony’s ultra-premium LCD 4K HDR TVs and its OLED TV model will be a major issue.

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