The analyst’s Worldwide TV Market Report also showed that this growth comes on the back of strong performance in 2016 when 4K/UHD surpassed a quarter of total TV sales, despite the remaining scarcity of regular broadcast 4K UHD content in most regions. This also comes at a time when the total TV market was flat year-on-year at 226 million units in 2016 following a small decline in 2015. Total trade value was $85 billion, down 1% year-on-year.
The report notes that 2017 is also a year in which there are no major worldwide broadcast events or many significant analogue to digital switchovers to kick-start sales. “The outlook this year is also one of zero growth, with established markets especially challenged,” explained Futuresource Consulting market analyst David Tett. “Mature markets remain flat in the face of saturation. In a bid to entice consumers to upgrade their sets sooner rather than they would otherwise, vendors are emphasizing the new features found in the latest sets – 4K UHD, OLED, high dynamic range (HDR), curved screens and the latest smart TV features and services.”
Assessing what will be the leading future technologies, Futuresource believes that the contest between OLED and LCD will take center stage in 2017, a de facto battle between LG and Samsung. It says while some CE brands — such as Sony — are lining up to use LG-manufactured OLED technology in their TVs, while Samsung is pushing the boundaries of LCD based screen technology with the 2017 line up of QLED branded TVs being its latest answer to OLED sets.
In its research, Futuresource also expects average retail prices, which approached $550 in 2016, to rise throughout the forecast period due to increasing 4K UHD sales, escalating OLED sales in the premium end of the market, and demand for larger screen sizes.