It’s Amazing How Far 4K Ultra HD TV prices Have Fallen Since 2012, and they Keep Dropping

by on August 18, 2014

by Stephan Jukic – August 18th, 2014

One of the biggest factors delaying the wider adoption for 4K TVs is their still elevated price tag when compared to the cost of a normal HD TV. In fact, this very situation is what has caused many technology commentators on the web to claim that 4K is dead and has no real future.

This pessimism is unfounded for several major reasons but one of the most important of  these is the simple fact that, while 4K prices are still not at conventional HD levels, they are nonetheless falling at enormous and very healthy speeds.

According to analysis done by the people at Business Insider Intelligence, the price of 4K TVs across several major markets and worldwide as a whole has been dropping spectacularly since 2012, when the technology first emerged for consumer sale on TV sets.

Since 2012, the worldwide average price of 4K TV sets has declined by an extraordinary 85% from a 2012 average cost of $7,851 USD to a current average cost of $1,120.

The price decreases for the Chinese market have been almost as massive, with TVs sold in the country decreasing in price from a 2012 high of $4,501 to just $973 today. This is a 78% price drop for the World’s single largest 4K TV marketplace.

And, for the North American Market, where the most expensive and high end name brand 4K TVs get sold, the price drop has been the most spectacular of all. Between 2012 and 2014, prices for 4K TVs in this continent have gone down from $18,668 to $1,986, which is a decrease of just under 90% in those two years.

Now obviously the current low price tags are largely made up by lower end, lower cost 4K TV sets on the on the Worldwide and Asian market. This is also why 4K sets remain more expensive in North America, where consumers are more likely to buy UHD TVs from major brands like Sony, LG and Samsung, which still retail for $1800 to $10,000 dollars depending on size.

However, an interesting fact to bear in mind is that, while much of the prices of current 4K TV sets have a low average thanks to cheaper, lesser known brands, even these lower end TVs are now often more feature rich and more advanced than the expensive name brand TVs of 2012 were.

As the technology has evolved, formerly high end novelty features have filtered down to lower end TVs.

What the overall picture formed by these decreasing prices shows is that competition in the 4K market is highly robust, since this is a chief cause of decreasing product prices. And with robust competition, we see a major indicator of growing popularity and sales. Were steadily increasing sales not the case, the manufacturer race for cheaper 4K TVs would not be likely to exist.

Business Insider further goes on to predict that by 2018, 4K TVs will be in at least 10% of all North American households and that this number should reach 50% by 2024, in just a decade.

The logic of these extrapolations is sound, and what we’re seeing so far with the adoption of 4K (and the arguments of its detractors) actually closely resembles what happened with conventional 1080p HD during the late 90’s when it first emerged. And like HD, Ultra HD is likely to dominate as well in 5 to 10 years, as more consumers find that they can afford the higher resolution they want.

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