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Worldwide 4K TV Panel Shipments Grow Nearly 400% YoY in Q1: IHS

Jun 22, 2015 | By Quincy Liang

Global shipments of 4K, or UHD (Ultra High Definition), LCD TV panels grew nearly 400 percent year-on-year (YoY) to reach 4.7 million units in the first quarter of 2015, with volume barely dropping from the seasonally strong fourth quarter of 2014, and especially strong demand in China during the Chinese New Year holiday season, according to IHS Inc.

4K TV panel share of worldwide shipments by size (Source: HIS) 4K TV panel share of worldwide shipments by size (Source: HIS)

However, IHS said, growth for the rest of the TV market was not as robust in the first quarter, Overall TV shipments, including liquid crystal display (LCD), plasma, organic light-emit diode (OLED), and cathode-ray tube (CRT), fell 2 percent YoY, while LCD TV shipments alone rose almost 3 percent. The disparity in growth has to do with the significant reduction in both plasma and CRT shipments compared to a year ago.

The latest IHS Quarterly Global TV Shipment and Forecast Report notes that the slowdown in overall growth has not seriously affected the 4K TV segment, which continues to benefit from falling price premiums, expanded selection, and growing content availability. The 4K-TV shipments to China increased by 244 percent YoY to more than 2.6 million units in the first quarter.

“4K TV shipments in China account for over half of global demand and set a new high-water mark in the world's largest 4K market,” said Paul Gagnon, director of TV research for IHS. “This growth was driven by an expanded assortment of screen sizes between 40" and 50" that have recently become available from manufacturers, and retail premiums well below 50 percent, which is encouraging consumers to upgrade.”

Availability of 4K TVs is primarily limited to screen sizes larger than 40-inch, where the benefit can be most clearly observed, and also in regions where consumers are more willing to spend a premium to upgrade, HIS pointed out. Overall, 9 percent of all TV shipments in the first quarter were 4K TVs, but when looking at larger screen sizes, the share of shipments rises significantly. More than 31 percent of 50-inch and larger TVs were 4K TVs.

Based on revenue, Samsung Electronics was the top brand shipping 4K TVs in the first quarter of 2015, accounting for more than 32 percent of worldwide 4K TV sales, which are down slightly since the fourth quarter of 2014. Even so, the strong seasonal shift to China meant that Chinese brands gained share during the quarter, owing to their relatively high mix of 4K TVs. Collectively, 4K TV accounted for 16 percent of Chinese brands' TV shipments in the first quarter. By comparison, 4K TV accounted for 11 percent of Samsung's TV shipments during the quarter. Fellow South Korean brand LG Electronics was the second-largest 4K TV brand in the first quarter, with a revenue share of 15 percent, followed by Hisense (China), Sony (Japan), and Skyworth (China).


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