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4K TV shipments reach all-time high of 3 million units moved in April alone, thanks to lower prices and new technologies

by on June 17, 2015

Stephan Jukic – June 17, 2015

According to the latest research from IHS Inc. sales of 4K ultra HD TVs are reaching groundbreaking new levels at a rapid pace. The latest findings on worldwide shipments of 4K TVs, zoomed down to just the month of April 2015, showed more than 3 million units sold, representing 14 % of total worldwide sales of HDTVs for that month.

These numbers not only break a new record for 2015, they also represent more than 2/3 of all 4K ultra HD TVs sold in the entire second half of 2014, all over the world. IHS itself asserts that by 2016, one in five TV panels sold on the global market will be 4K sets.

Furthermore, if even the figures for April continue to be met for the remainder of 2015, it will amount to more than 36 million units sold in 2015, more than three times the total 4K TV sales of the previous year. In other words, between 2014 and 2015, sales of UHD panels will have expanded by nearly 400%.

And this is just if monthly sales figures stay static. Judging by how the numbers of units sold month over month kept growing throughout 2014, we can almost certainly expect to see the exact same trend this year but with larger monthly numbers and greater growth in those numbers from one month to the next. This is to say that by year’s end, there is a very good chance of ultra HD TV sales exceeding 50 million units worldwide for the entire year.

Contributing factors to these rapidly growing sales figures include widespread promotion of 4K resolution and related products and services leading to a much greater degree of consumer familiarity, steadily dropping prices for 4K TV, with some models now retailing for well below $1000 USD and the growing availability of 4K content itself. However, out of these factors, the biggest achievement has been the retail price decrease. Even mid-grade UHD models in 2013 cost well above $3,000 and now many top notch TVs with far more standardized specs are selling for below $1000.

Vizio's M-Series 4K UHD TVs are selling for as little as $800 while featuring top-shelf premium specs and connectivity

Vizio’s M-Series 4K UHD TVs are selling for as little as $800 while featuring top-shelf premium specs and connectivity

Furthermore, the overall standardization of 4K TV technology has made plug and play usability much simpler and better than it was just two years ago for new owners of ultra HD televisions.

The overwhelming majority of units sold so far in 2015 are still models in the 40 to 55 inch size range but increasing sales of increasingly affordable 60 to 70 inch models are also happening.

According to Linda Lin, HIS Technology’s senior analyst, “Prices for 4K TV panels continued to decline in 2014 and early this year, causing a rise in their adoption”. She also explained that, “Most global TV brands have now launched 4K UHD products and are introducing more 4K models in their television offerings”.

For the biggest sellers of 4K TVs today, Samsung and LG, virtually all high-end models manufactured and released to date in 2015 have been ultra HD models like the LG 2015 OLED 4K line of TVs, LG’s ColorPrime 4K TVs with quantum dot display technology and Samsung’s SUHD 4K models with their own color enhancing quantum dot technology and readiness for high dynamic range 4K content which will be the next generation of programming to reach consumers in 4K resolution from streaming online sources like Netflix.

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