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4K UHD TV Sales Leapt by 160% in 2015 and Will Approach 140 Million Units Globally by 2020

4K UHD TV Market Analysis and Commentary

18 April 2016 - Futuresource Consulting has released its latest worldwide TV market report which states that shipments of 4K Ultra High Definition (4K UHD) sets grew by almost 160% in 2015 to total 32 million units, equivalent to 14% of all sets sold. This is expected to rise to almost 140 million by 2020, by which time 4K UHD shipments will command 52% of the market. Despite this growth, total TV shipments fell by 2% during 2015.

"4K UHD and OLED are expected to grow strongly in the remainder of the decade," said David Tett, Market Analyst at Futuresource. "These technologies will help to restore value in the worldwide TV market as average selling prices are expected to increase over the next few years." OLED is forecast to account for 7% of shipments by 2020, compared to just 0.2% in 2015, as interest in this premium display technology increases.

Smart TVs continue to see strong growth in all markets with shipments growing by 11% in 2015 and more than 75% of sets are expected to feature smart connectivity by 2020. Another feature, curved screens, is still a focus for Samsung but others have largely reduced their line-ups of curved sets.

Overall, TV sales performance suffered during 2015 due to saturation of flat panel TV in most markets, exacerbated by exchange rate and economic difficulties in some countries, notably Russia and Brazil. Europe saw the largest decline in percentage terms, falling by more than 15%, with most countries suffering significant falls.

However, Futuresource does not expect these declines to last as 2016 is expected to see worldwide shipments grow by 2% - fuelled by emerging markets and recovery in others. "Africa, the Middle East and Asia Pacific represent opportunity for growth in the coming years with TV ownership currently being relatively low in many countries within these regions," commented Tett.

  • HDR is anticipated to be a feature in all 4K UHD sets shipped in Europe and North America by 2020
  • Average selling prices are growing as consumers demand larger screens and sales of 4K UHD resolution sets increases.

The worldwide TV market report provides an updated outlook for the worldwide consumer TV market. It reviews key developments in the market until the end of 2015 and provides an outlook to 2020.


Futuresource Consulting is a specialist research and knowledge-based consulting company, providing organisations with insight into consumer electronics, digital imaging, entertainment media, broadcast, storage media, education technology and IT. With a heritage stretching back to the 1980s, the company delivers in-depth analysis and forecasts on a global scale, advising on strategic positioning, market trends, competitive forces and technological developments. 

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