The increasing popularity of Smart TVs is driving its sales. As a result, Informa (News - Alert) Telecoms & Media's latest Smart TV device forecast shows that over 220 million Smart TV sets will be sold worldwide in 2017, up from the 54 million sold in 2012. According to Informa Telecoms, 31 percent of households worldwide will own at least one Smart TV in five years time.
The report indicates that the household penetration of Smart TVs is much higher in North America (63 percent) and Western Europe (64 percent). While Smart TV connection rates are rising, they will continue to lag the connection rates of game consoles and media streaming devices, such as Apple TV and Roku.
Informa’s study shows that with their long lifecycles, TVs are simply not the right device to be the hub of the digital home. Instead devices that are regularly replaced, including smartphones, tablets, set-top boxes, media streamers and games consoles, will be the key devices in the digital home experience. Smartphones in particular, with their short lifecycles and rapidly increasing processor power, will continue to define what “Smart” means.
Andrew Ladbrook, senior analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media (News - Alert), said, "Informa estimates that in 2017 more than half of the 800 million Smart TV sets will only be used as dumb screens…Moreover, while any 'smart' TV bought in 2011 or 2012 can be used for streaming online video services for a few years; they lack the processing power and the necessary hardware to perform those smart TV functions that will be standard in 2015. Simply put, any Smart TV purchased in 2012 will be effectively obsolete by 2015.”
Furthermore, as per the study, manufacturer's short term support for their Smart TV products will also hinder the device. New services continue to only be launched solely on the latest Smart TV models (HBO Go, Skype (News - Alert), Onlive, BBC's Sport app), which means that users who bought last year's device are excluded.
According to Informa, the fragmentation of platforms and standards continues to plague the Smart TV market. Apps cannot be easily released across multiple devices, since each Smart TV platform demands bespoke development. This situation benefits the current market leaders Samsung and LG who can attract top services first due to their strong positions, says the Informa report. Meanwhile, Informa believes that Google TV or Android (News - Alert) will come to be the default Smart TV OS for Smart TVs that is still some years away.
Edited by Rich Steeves