4K LCD to outpace OLED in ultra-def wars

Michelle Clancy | 07-01-2013

Ultra-definition TV is poised to gain a lead in the technology wars, as 4K LCD TV shipments are projected to exceed OLED TV shipments through 2015.

According to the latest TV market forecast published in the NPD DisplaySearch Quarterly Advanced Global TV Shipment and Forecast Report, this is a result both of the delay in commercialisation by OLED TV-makers, as well as increased promotion of 4K LCD TVs by several brands. In addition, many Chinese TV brands are currently in the process of launching 4K LCD TVs in the domestic China market.

OLED TVs are still expected to launch in 2013, but volumes are expected to be low and prices to be very high. 4Kx2K resolution is not exclusive to LCD TV, and 4K OLED TVs are also expected to be introduced at some point in premium TV segments.

"The global TV market and North America in particular are experiencing either slow or negative growth in 2012, and brands are eager to demonstrate new technologies that might create a spike in demand," noted Paul Gagnon, director for global TV research at NPD DisplaySearch. "OLED TV was prominently featured during the previous two CES shows as the next-generation TV display technology, but the lack of market launch so far has caused several set-makers to start emphasizing 4K2K resolution TVs for premium market segments."

Overall TV demand is expected to fall in 2012, he added. Consumers worldwide are grappling with tough economic conditions, and TV prices are falling at only marginal rates. NPD reduced its LCD TV forecast for 2012 slightly to 205 million, just lower than in 2011. In addition, plasma TV shipments are projected to fall 24% year-on-year to 13 million. Looking forward, the market is expected to be flat in 2013 on persistent economic uncertainty before entering a period of gradual growth as conditions improve and as price declines in the TV market accelerate.