Dismissed by some as an over-hyped market, the connected TV sector has bounced back in 2013 according to research from Strategy Analytics.
The Strategy Analytics Smart TV Forecast report found that smart TV shipments grew 55% over 2013 to reach 76 million units, with such products now accounting for a third of the total flat panel TV (FPTV) market during the year. Western Europe was the smart TV shipments hotspot, with nearly 45% of FPTVs shipped in the region in 2013 having connected capability.
"Smart TVs are steadily moving mainstream and are integrating into a multi-platform offering alongside smartphones, tablets and PCs. Manufacturers will do well to focus their efforts on enabling better communication and sharing with second screen devices" commented David Watkins, director of Strategy Analytics' Connected Home Devices service.
Looking to the future, Strategy Analytics expects global smart TVs will account for 44% of FPTV shipments in 2014 and nearly three-quarters by 2017 by which time it says virtually all mid to high-end TV sets will include some form of IP connectivity.
However, the analyst added the caveat that the industry still had work to do to ensure this growth took placed. "While smart TV adoption is certainly gaining momentum, a true measure of its success is whether consumers are actually using the smart functionality,” cautioned analyst Eric Smith. “Around 50% of smart TV owners across the USA and major European markets are currently using their TV's Internet capabilities, so vendors must continue to add compelling applications and services to entice consumers to utilise their platforms."