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The exploding 4K market: Nearly 50% of U.S homes to have UHD TVs by 2020 according to new study

by on March 6, 2015

Stephan Jukic – March 06, 2015

As 4K ultra HD technology in TVs moves closer to becoming the de facto replacement of Full HD as the standard top-shelf resolution technology in TVs, a number of studies have emerged predicting the enormous growth trends that they forecast for this new pixel resolution format.

The latest of the bunch is a new research report by Strategy Analytics whose highly bullish outlook for 4K TVs is one of the most optimistic to come out so far.

The research company, which published its findings this week, predicts that by 2020, almost half of all homes in the U.S will own a 4K TV of some kind or another. Considering the current state of market penetration, this is indeed a steep climb that they’re predicting for the next 5 years.

In 2014, only 1% of all U.S homes had a 4K TV, so far in 2015, that percentage is seeing very fast growth and other studies have predicted a fivefold increase in 4K television sales for the current years end, from just under 1 million units sold to about 5 or 6 million by the end of 2015.

The Strategy Analytics study furthermore predicts a 10% market penetration by 2016. While all of these figures are quite impressive, they’re still some distance from the 50% penetration predicted for 2020.

However, the key to this rapid growth lies in the exponential nature of the growth. This is to say that as more TVs are bought by consumers because they become cheaper and more recognized, the rate at which ownership increases will increase as well.

The people at Strategy Analytics furthermore predict that North America will become the market with the greatest penetration of 4K TVs in the world, unseating the current leader, which is the Asia Pacific region.

According to David Witkins, service director for connected home devices at Strategy Analytics, “Ultra HD will become the standard resolution for virtually all large screen TVs within 3 to 4 years’ time and we will see it penetrate further into smaller screen sizes as manufacturing efficiencies improve.

In other words, as larger, more feature-rich 4K TVs become much more affordable, people will finally start buying them to gain the maximal benefit from 4K resolution, which doesn’t translate as well into smaller and cheaper UHD televisions.

Currently however, the majority of 4K TVs sold worldwide are indeed smaller units within the 45 to 55 inch size range. Larger cousins of these TVs, with screen sizes of 60 more inches are still prohibitively expensive for most consumers, though this too is rapidly changing thanks to certain select brands and their new offerings.

The latest 4K TVs come with the most modern smart TV features on the market, outdoing their HD cousins

The latest 4K TVs come with the most modern smart TV features on the market, outdoing their HD cousins

Other findings of the Strategy study indicate that shipments of 4K TVs grew by a whopping 633% in 2014 resulting in total 4K sales of 12.1 million TVs, of which 75% were sold to Asian Pacific markets. North America was the second biggest buyer of these 12.1 million TVs with a much smaller 12% of total sales, followed by Europe with 11%.

Furthermore, about 60% of UHD TVs shipped worldwide in 2014 were 50 inches or larger and among all TVs (4K or HD) with 50+ inch screen sizes sold worldwide, 25% were 4K TVs.

Overall, Strategy Analytics predicts that shipments of 4K TVs in 2015 will reach 27.5 million or more units in 2015 and will hit 100 million units sold by 2018.

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