Connected TV universe passes 100MN mark
Joseph O'Halloran | 04-01-2013

If thereís one thing that seems a certainty for 2013 itís that TV will be smarter, as data from Strategy Analytics has revealed there are now over 100 million connected TVs in homes worldwide.

According to the Global Smart TV Sales Forecast for 88 Countries: 2007 to 2017 report, by the end of 2012, the global installed base of smart TVs had reached 104 million, with household penetration in Japan at 21% and the US 15.8%. Yet the report also predicts a big changing of the guard by the end of 2013, with China usurping the US and ultimately growing to more than twice the size of the US market in 2017.

Driving this tectonic shift, says the analyst, will be the regionís business dynamics where the cost advantage of ARM and Android and the abundant content on the Android ecosystem allow Chinese TV manufacturers to offer affordable but compelling smart TV products. By contrast, Strategy Analytics expects that what it regards as limited content availability on smart TV platforms in the US will restrict the growth in that market.

Explained Jia Wu, director, connected home devices: "Samsung, LG, Sony and Panasonic will continue to compete in the US and European smart TV market with products based on their own platforms or third-party platforms such as Google TV. Chinese TV manufacturers like Hisense, TCL and Skyworth are embracing Android, which already offers a plethora of apps and content. The wide adoption of Android in smart TVs in China will drive sales as consumers get access to a great variety of content."

The companyís VP and principal analyst David Mercer added: "Smart TVs help manufacturers drive near-term sales growth but they are also a longer term strategic play. Major vendors like Samsung and Sony believe they can establish smart TV-based content and service platforms to support new revenue streams, but we won't know whether this strategy is successful for several more years."