While the UHD TV sales are forecasted by Digitimes Research to grow from 1.5 million in 2013 to 68.2 million in 2018. Where as the other interesting TV segment smart TV sales are forecasted by Futuresource Consulting to reach a shipment of 228 million by 2018 compared to 90 million in 2013.
"In developed regions 30% of homes will own a smart TV by the end of 2014, rising to 70% by 2018," says Jack Wetherill, Senior Market Analyst at Futuresource Consulting. "And people aren't just buying the feature, they're using it too. At present, around 80% of the smart TVs in people's homes are connected to the internet, with the pervasion of embedded Wi-Fi and auto-boot on track to lift this figure to over 90% by 2016.
"Our recent round of international consumer research, surveying more than 4,000 people, shows that over half of owners are using a service on their smart TV at least once a week, with 40% of US owners saying they use a service every single day."
"There is little opportunity for TV brands to monetize apps or content, with consumer interest concentrated on free or subscription video, and far lower interest in other genres or general web use - a radically different profile to the mobile market," says Wetherill. "Differentiating the offering by providing exclusive content is also challenging, and there are still very few compelling examples. In addition, the ongoing cost of platform development and support for apps developers is proving costly and is not yielding fruit.
"We could be advancing beyond the point of no return. Consumers increasingly expect smart features and apps, and there is no way for a manufacturer to run a feature delete on its products and remain competitive, so the market will continue to develop."
This smart TV is driven by Android operating system based TV launches. Sony is expected to launch Android smart TVs in 2015 along with two Chinese brands, TCL and TPVision. Samsung is using its own operating system Tizen in its smart TVs.
"Although the industry spotlight is firmly focused upon UHD and curved screens, smart TV continues to pervade the market as a value added feature, and UI refinements like voice and gesture recognition, tile-driven navigation and device mirroring appeal to consumers at the point of sale as part of a premium set proposition," says Wetherill.
"Although there is a myriad of ways to access online video, smart TV integrates broadcast and broadband services within a single user and control interface, setting it apart from digital media adaptors and the like, as well as opening the door to interactive long term concepts like targeted ad insertion and web/broadcast overlay."