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TrendForce Anticipates 4K TVs to Reach 23% Market Penetration in 2016 as Their Prices Become More Consumer-Friendly

Global LCD TV shipments for 2015 will total 216 million sets, according to the latest estimation by WitsView, a division of TrendForce. This year’s shipments will represent a slight annual decline, for the first time since the shipment slide in 2013. In the short term, consumer spending will generally remain weak due to the sluggish pace of the global economic recovery and currency fluctuations. Next year will unlikely deliver pleasant surprises as well because these macroeconomic factors will continue to affect the market. WitsView projects that the global LCD TV shipments for 2016 will arrive at around 220 million sets, up 1.85% year on year. 

WitsView Research Manager Ricky Lin said that branded TV vendors have seen shifts in their market shares as the global market demand for LCD TVs approaches saturation. South Korea-based Samsung and LG Electronics (LGE) have maintained their respective No. 1 and 2 spots in the worldwide market share ranking this year and their dominance is expected to continue through 2016. In China’s LCD TV market this year, the market shares of major domestic brands have been lost to rising domestic Internet brands such as LeTV and Xiaomi, which benefited from the country’s booming e-commerce sector. Among the six well-known Chinese brands, the gap between this year’s leading three vendors – The Creative Life (TCL), Hisense and Skyworth – and the bottom three – Changhong, Konka and Haier – will keep widening as their home market becomes even more competitive next year. Sony is currently the only Japanese brand that is listed in the top ten TV vendors worldwide. Other Japanese brands such as Sharp have seen ongoing deterioration of their positions and will likely be lost in the competition next year.

Below are some of the important trends in the global LCD TV market in 2016:

Screen size will become larger and high resolution will be prevalent

TV vendors have been eagerly developing roadmaps for products with large screen sizes as to improve their revenue and margins. Consequently, TV sets with screens sized 50 inches and above now account for 19.7% of the total shipments, up from 18.3% a year ago. The shipment share of this segment may arrive at 22% in 2016, with the 65-inch being vendors’ major focus. Also, the representation of high-resolution TVs will increase in the entry-level, 60Hz segment. As 4K TVs become more economical for consumers, their market penetration is expected rise to about 23%, compared with this year’s projected rate of 13%~14%.

The battle between OLED and curved screen will still be a major part of the competition in the high-end market

The rivalry between organic LED (OLED) panels and curved-screen LCD panels will continue to dominate the development of high-end market in 2016, with the former technology pushing forward by LGE and latter pioneered by Samsung. According to WitsView, around 4 million curved-screen LCD TVs will be shipped globally this year owing to aggressive promotion by Samsung and several Chinese vendors. Next year, the annual shipments of curved-screen LCD TVs worldwide may hit 8 million and the market penetration is estimated at 3.6%, compared with this year’s projected rate of 1.9%.

OLED, on the other hand, is still a costly technology because OLED panel production in general has yet to achieve a satisfactory yield rate. Consequently, LGE’s OLED TV sets are high-priced despite the fact that the vendor is the leading proponent of this technology. Nonetheless, OLED has become a much-discussed innovation that has captured consumers’ interest. Based on WitsView’s estimation, LGE will ship 450,000 to 500,000 OLED TVs this year, with the market penetration at about 0.2%. However, LGE will ship 1 million next year with the market penetration almost at 0.5% on account of LG Display (LGD) expanding its OLED panel capacity.

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