There are now 104mn smart TVs installed in homes globally, according to US firm Strategy Analytics – although as ever, the number of these which have actually been connected to the Internet and enjoying regular use by their owners is likely to be far lower.
The report adds that in leading markets like the US, household penetration of the devices now exceeds 20 percent. Sales in China are catching up fast though, and are likely to exceed those of the US this year, then grow to more than twice the size of the US market in 2017.
It is Japan however which remains the largest market for smart TVs at present, with an installed base of 21.1mn such devices at the end of last year. Of the European countries, Germany and the UK feature in the top five, with 7.1mn and 6.8mn installed units respectively.
Chinese TV manufacturers are expected to offer affordable but compelling smart TVs this year, based on ARM chips and the Android operating platform, which features an abundant range of content. On the other hand, the limited content availability on smart TV platforms in the US will likely restrict growth in this market, says the research firm.
“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,” said Jia Wu, Director of Connected Home Devices at Strategy Analytics.
“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.”