UHD 4K TV Shipments will Surpass 14 million Units in 2014

by on August 15, 2014

by Stephan Jukic – August 15th, 2014

Sales and shipments of Ultra High Definition 4K TVs are expected to reach or possibly even surpass 14.5 million units by the end of 2014. This is an enormous increase from a total of just 2 million units sold in all of 2013 and is part of a longer term trend in expected explosive growth in sales of these TV sets.

According to research firm IHS Technology, the massive uptick in total sales expectations for this year is due to some very large and very aggressive marketing efforts by the global brands that sell 4K ultra HD resolution TVs worldwide.

The research firm also stated that while UHD TVs are continuing to make steady progress towards breaking into the TV market, their overall share of al TV sales is still minimal in comparison to HD and SD.

One of the key factors for this, according to IDG, is that the pricing of 4K sets still remains too high to allow for meaningful share increases, although sales are definitely rising and prices for the sets continue to drop steadily.

Among the top 13 major liquid crystal display TV brands worldwide –brands that together make up roughly 75% of all LCD TV shipments—the share of UHD TV shipments was still only 5% of their total shipments in May of 2014.

However, this is a rise from 4% in April, 3% in March and just 2% in February. Thus, the growth rate itself is excellent despite the still low overall percentages for 4K TV.

Furthermore, according to technology analyst for consumer devices Jusy Hong of IHS, “Growth in this year’s global UHD TV market is a reflection of plans among TV makers, especially the Chinese, to increase sales. Expansion in UHD TV volume is mostly scheduled for the second half of the year”

He also added that “In China, for instance, the share of UHD TVs continues to stay below 10% despite vigorous promotion by brands because high UHD TV pricing acts as a barrier for wider acceptance”.

Currently, China is the world’s single biggest market for 4K TVs, many of them made by lower end brands from Taiwan and mainland China, brands which are considerably cheaper than their name brand counterparts like Samsung, Sony and LEG.

Flat-panel televisions overall amounted to 18.1 million units sold in the month of May and of these 18.1 million, LCD TVs of all types (including 4K UHD TVs) represented 17.4 million units sold.

The pricing issue for 4K TVs remains thorny for consumer acceptance but it has to be recognized that prices for 4K TVs from any major or minor brand have dropped enormously in the last 2 years. Currently, lower sized, lower end 4K sets cost as much as 85% less than they did in the same month of 2013.

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