Worldwide Smart TV Shipments To Grow 15% In 2012

According to the latest NPD DisplaySearch Quarterly Smart TV Shipment and Forecast Report, in 2012, worldwide Smart TV shipments are expected to grow 15%. The report says that smart TVs are moving from a novelty to mainstream, and With the shift, regional preferences and TV consumption habits are changing.

Critical to the development of connected TV has been the accessibility of content and broadcast services, which have helped propel penetration in Europe and Japan. In China, the availability of attractive free content on the internet has had a similar effect. Connected TV’s shipment shares were 26% in China and 34% in Western Europe in 2011. In 2012, it has grown to more than 40% in both regions. Japan has the highest penetration with more than 55%.

In most of the regions around the world, Smart and connected TV shipments account for a large percentage of TVs. However, in North America, smart TV penetration is only around 20%.

The report found that, Smart TV shipments are tightly linked to content consumption habits. For consumers in China, there is plenty of free content on the internet and few structured services. This favors TVs with built-in browsers. Furthermore, Chinese consumers consider a TV to be a prestigious purchase and are prepared to invest more in them.

Conversely, Western Europe consumes more free content every month than North America does. Terrestrial broadcasters’ catch-up services are beginning to dominate in Western Europe. These broadcasters have no interest in hardware, so connected TVs are flourishing with open standards like HbbTV rapidly gaining acceptance and evolving with new features. The development of the Ginga standard in Brazil is following a similar path in Europe, with commercial broadcasters uniting around a common platform.

Paul Gray, Director, European TV Research said,”TV brands want to add more functionality to their TV sets.Smart TVs that have browsers and can access the open internet are rapidly gaining share. Many TV brands introduced this function in their 2012 products.”

In Q2’2012, nearly 9.5 million consumer-controlled (open internet access) smart TVs were shipped, with 43 million expected to ship in 2012. This figure is forecast to grow to 95 million in 2016.At the same time, basic sets that link to the HbbTV and Ginga services will enter at the lowest price points in Europe and Latin America.

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