Smart TVs surge in North America | Infrastructure | News | Rapid TV News
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Worldwide shipments of smart TVs will reach 109 million in 2016, rising to 134 million in 2020. North America and Asia-Pacific are leading the way as surging markets.

According to IHS, in comparison, 34.2 million smart TVs were shipped in the fourth quarter of 2015, meaning they reached 48.5% of all TV sets shipped in the quarter (and shipments broke the 100 million mark for the first time in 2015).

“Consumers increasingly regard smart functions as essential,” said Paul Gray, principal analyst, IHS Technology. “The market dynamic has shifted from seeding the market to self-sustaining demand for built-in internet streaming functions.”

ihs smart tvMore than three-quarters of televisions in China were shipped with smart functionality in 2015, while in North America, the popularity of the feature surged from 36% to 48%. The popularity of Netflix and other services is also reinforcing demand in North America, according to the IHS Technology TV Design and Features Tracker.

It is a mixed picture in other regions. Latin America continues to strongly increase smart TV shipments, despite a depressed television market.

Penetration was diluted by basic TV sets, to subsidise Mexico’s digital switchover. Excluding such sets, more than half of TVs shipped in Latin America in the fourth quarter of 2015 included smart features. Japan and Europe appear to have reached a plateau, with small declines in 2015, largely due to the end of aggressive promotion campaigns by TV brands and a shortage of good local content.

“Smart TV will continue to grow at a more gradual rate,” Gray said. “China, the dominant engine of smart TV growth, has little extra room to grow. Other developed markets are increasingly saturated, while lack of broadband internet connections remains an issue in emerging regions.”

The news follows the firm’s research that found that panel-makers are migrating production to larger displays, targeting a 24% year-over-year growth rate for 48” and larger panel sizes.