4KTV continues strong growth but overall TV shipments decline | 4K/UltraHD | News | Rapid TV News
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An ‘abrupt’ weakening of global demand for TV sets, combined with continued LCD capacity expansion, caused an oversupply in the market in the second half of 2015, according to research from IHS.

Even though it was hoped that the extremely steep LCD TV panel price declines would be passed on to the customer in terms of cheaper sets, this has not come to pass and as a result, said the survey, total annual TV shipments dipped 4% year-on-year to 226 million units.

IHS calculates that in the fourth quarter of 2015, global TV shipments fell 2% year-over-year, as North American TV shipments grew 2%. While overall TV shipments in emerging markets declined 6% year-over-year in Q4, TV shipments in China climbed 12%.

The pain was not equally spread around the various sectors of the TV display industry, the analyst added. IHS noted that plasma and CRT shipments have fallen to ‘negligible’ levels, and while organic light-emitting diode (OLED) TV, was still in the early stages of growth. Shipments of LCD TVs, the core display technology, fell less than 1% in 2015 to 224 million units, compared to a 7% increase in 2014.

The one shining light in the growth department was 4KTV for which overall year-over-year shipment growth rose 173% to 32 million units, aided by year-over-year average selling-price-per-inch erosion of nearly 305.

The analyst also revealed that the pace of TV screen size growth slowed in 2015, and the average size of TV displays grew just 2% to 39.3”, which is about half the rate of growth in 2014. However, IHS found that the 4KTV mix at even mid-range screen sizes (between 40- 50”) has been better than expected, accounting for half of shipments of 55” and larger TVs in 2015, and 30% of 48-50” TVs.

“TV shipment growth in China was strong in the fourth quarter, due to sell-in for the Chinese New Year Holidays, which runs counter to the very weak conditions in other emerging markets,” said Paul Gagnon, director of TV research for IHS Technology who worked on the IHS TV Sets Market Tracker. “Like China, North America has largely been unaffected by depreciation and inflation due to the strong dollar, leading to steady, if slow, shipment growth, though inventory management remains a concern.”