For the first time ever worldwide sales of connected TVs will likely exceed that of games consoles for the first time by the end of 2011.
Furthermore, says Informa Telecoms & Media Samsung, LG and Sony will triumph in battle for connected home selling 52 million connected TVs whereas between them Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony will sell 37 million games consoles of varying type, including the Xbox, PlayStation and Wii respectively.
“The market for connected devices – connected TVs, connected Blu-ray players, games consoles, media-streaming devices and hybrid set-top boxes – is continuing to grow globally, as consumers seek to access services such as Netflix and iPlayer via their televisions. In 2016, 1.8 billion in-home video devices – including tablets – will be sold, an increase of almost 800% from today. And by this time, 70% of all in-home video devices sold will be able to connect to the Internet,” said Andrew Ladbrook, analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media explaining the trend.
“Until now, many online video services were launched primarily with the game console in mind, mainly because console users innately understand how to connect these devices and demand interactive video services from them. However, this is beginning to change as connected TVs bring these services to a mainstream audience,” he added.
Even though the connected TV industry stands to make huge gains, especially the big three suppliers, Informa warns that they may well be faced with a conflict of interest. That is to say balancing off the need to build and support a platform that works across both the latest and legacy devices, effectively reducing the differences between the two, as well as persuading users that the latest sets are superior and worth investing in.
Failure to do this, Informa warns, may see traditional video aggregators wrest away control of the market. Furthermore it predicts a future dynamic similar to that of the traditional TV industry whereby Chinese manufacturers mop up mainstream sales with value priced connected TV sets.
Somewhat controversially, Informa believes that Apple could be a big loser in the connected TV space if it does not launch a dedicated Internet-enabled TV but instead relies upon a stand alone box to stream video.