The worldwide 4K display market to reach $52 billion in 2020 according to industry researchers

by on April 20, 2015

Stephan Jukic – April 20, 2015

4K ultra HD TV has undoubtedly achieved a much larger consumer awareness in the last two years and this trend is only going to continue spiraling ever upwards at a nearly exponential pace as more households and other settings are infiltrated by display or video shooting devices with ultra HD capacity.

Strong and heavy promotion of 4K displays in the form of PC monitors, laptops, cameras, TVs and now even tablets from an assortment of manufacturers with enormous combined marketing clout has considerably increased the amount of consumer awareness around 4K. This in turn has boosted 4K LCD TV penetration in 2014 to much larger levels in several major markets.

According to a new report from the research firm IHS Inc, while 4K is best known as the technology of top-shelf LCD TVs, this will soon also change as 4K UHD displays start appearing throughout the entire range of display devices we commonly use, including PC monitors, notebooks, OLED TVs, digital signage, tablets and even smartphone screens by late 2015 or possibly early 2016.

According to IHS’s latest “Quarterly Worldwide FPD Shipment and Forecast Report”, the research firm explains that the 4K Display market had reached roughly $9.2 billion in sales already by the end of 2014, of which $8.8 billion was in 4K TV sales alone. Furthermore, in 2015, these figures will grow considerably to some $18 billion as these types of displays reach all major visual applications, thus leading to year-over-year revenue increases of 94% over the next few years.

4K TV sales growth statistics from IHS

4K TV sales growth statistics from IHS

This revenue growth will eventually lead to a 4K display market of roughly $52 billion by the end of 2020, according to IHS.

“Since its market introduction in 2013, TV brands have recognized that 4K is a great way to enhance value, so they have strongly promoted 4K models” according to David Hsieh, senior director of display research for IHS. Hsieh also explained that 4K content availability is also growing, albeit more slowly than the availability of 4K devices and displays themselves, at least for now. However, what content there is on the market is definitely helping consumers and TV buyers, as well as filmographers and content distributors, realize the value of the new resolution as an integral part of future display technologies.

LCD TV panel makers have also continuously improved 4K panel yield and production efficiency, thus reducing costs considerably and in turn augmenting consumer interest in buying the new types of TVs.

In 2015, LCD panel makers are targeting total shipments of at least 40 million 4K ultra HD TV panels, which if achieved would lead to TVs with the new resolution making up at least 17% of all LCD TV sales worldwide.

4K displays will also become more affordable for smaller and smaller display devices such as tablets and mobile phones as panel makers develop new technologies like IGZO and low temperature poly-silicon (LTPS) display generation processes. One example of these latter technologies is the recent announcement by Sharp Electronics of its upcoming 4K smartphone screen, of which they already have made prototype models.

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