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Curved TV Screens Gain Share in the Global Market: NPD DisplaySearch

Apr 16, 2014 | By CENS

Global curved-TV display shipments are forecast to reach nearly 800,000 units in 2014 and to exceed 6 million units in 2017, according to NPD DisplaySearch, a display-market research firm.

After almost two decades of efforts to make TV screens flatter, curved TVs emerged again last year and will continue growing in the market, with sales curved liquid crystal (LCD) display TVs peaking in 2016 and increasing shipments of organic light-emit diode (OLED) TVs boosting figures in 2017, the research firm said.

The global TV market reached a peak in 2011, followed by two straight years of decline. This drop has prompted suppliers to explore various avenues for revitalizing the market, including OLED displays, curved screens, and improved resolution (4K or Ultra-HD).

“The novelty of curved screens is expected to wear off with time, leading to shipments peaking and then trailing off,” said Paul Gray, director of European TV research for NPD DisplaySearch. “Even so, curved screens will have completed the important task of differentiating new high-end models, thereby helping to boost overall value in the global television market.”

news-photoCurved LCD and OLED TV Display Shipments ( million units)

Curved LCD displays emerged as a spoiler for new OLED models in 2013 at Berlin's IFA, the world's leading trade show for consumer electronics and home appliances. With Samsung, LGE, and several Chinese brands all showing curved-screen LCD TV models at this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, such TVs are now more commonly seen in the market. “Brands are not staking their futures only in curved screens or any other single feature, but are instead exploring a whole mix of features to attract TV buyers,” Gray noted.

In addition to curved screens, TV manufacturers are employing other technologies to increase TV sales. Although widely promoted, OLED TVs still face significant manufacturing problems; at best only 100,000 units will be shipped in 2014, and annual shipments will exceed a million only in 2016. “LCD has proved a tough act to beat, because it is a mature, efficient manufacturing technology, with a surprising amount of room for innovation,” according to Gray.

The innovation race goes on with screen resolution. Netflix's inauguration of 4K streaming services in 2014 provided convenient content to support expansion; shipments of ultra-high-definition (UHD) 4K TVs are forecast to exceed 12 million units this year, rising to 62 million in 2017. Demand and supply for 4K TVs in the near future will be dominated by China, which accounted for 83% of all shipments of such products in 2013; China's share is expected to fall to 46% in 2017, as the rest of the world catches up.


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