More than one in four television sets sold worldwide last year were smart TVs, with the rapid sales growth of these Internet-connected sets paving the way for them to account for more than half of the market by 2015, according to new research by IHS.
Worldwide shipments of smart TVs amounted to 66mn units in 2012, up 27% from 52mn in 2011 and giving them a 27% share of the total television market, according to the US research firm’s latest estimates.
Smart TVs are defined in the report as those with integrated Internet features such as access to online streaming services, social media, Web browsers, app stores, information portals etc.
By 2015, shipments are expected to rise to 141mn units and account for 55 percent of global television shipments, the first time they will make up more than half the market. The following year, shipments are forecast to expand to 173mn units, amounting to nearly two-thirds of the worldwide television total.
“Despite a decline in global television shipments in 2012, consumer demand for Internet-connected televisions soared during the year—and the surge in sales shows no signs of abating,” said Veronica Thayer, TV systems analyst at IHS.
“Smart TVs are rapidly joining the mainstream as manufacturers refine their products to add new features and to make them easier to use.”
IHS predicts that smart TVs will continue to get smarter over the forecast period, with manufacturers improving the user interface and features to make them more user friendly, creating multiple and innovating ways as well to control and interact with the TV set.