WitsView says TV Shipments Will Grow in 2019, Driven by 4K Adoption

Mike Wheatley

TV display technology analyst firm WitsView’s latest research shows that consumer demand for new TVs grew by 4.1 percent in 2018 compared to the year before.


WitsView said that total TV shipments topped 219 million units in 2018, helped by events such as the 2018 FIFA World Cup and an ongoing replacement cycle in Latin American countries. Sales were also helped by some steep discounts by TV manufacturers, who benefited from reduced prices of TV panels.

WitsView also offered a prediction for 2019, saying that it expects total TV shipments to grow by around 1.6 percent to 223 million units. The expected growth will be aided by an increased supply of large-sized TV panels manufactured at new production facilities set to go online this year, including Sharp’s Gen 10.5 fab in Guangzhou, China. This will lead to a drop in panel prices, making large-sized TVs much more attractive offerings to consumers, the analyst firm said.

As a result, WitsView says TV brand will focus more on larger TVs and less on entry level products smaller than 32 inches. It notes there’s little room for product differentiation in the latter category, as most of these are already sold as cheaply as possible due to an oversupply of smaller panels.

Instead, brands should step up production of larger screens, WitsView said. For example, it expects the percentage of 65-inch TVs that will ship in 2019 to grow from 8.8 percent in 2018 to 11.7 percent. It also predicts that we could see 75-inch TVs priced as low as $799 (around £610) in most markets by the end of the year.

WitsView also commented on the market for 4K TV, saying that the segment has finally “matured”. It reckons that the share of 4K products will exceed 50 percent of the overall market this year. The prediction tallies with another report from Futuresource Consulting last year which said it expected 4K TV shipments to top 100 million by the end of 2018.

However the analyst firm was less optimistic about 8K’s prospects this year, noting that the entire ecosystem, including 8K content, transmission, hardware and supply chains “has not been well developed”. It adds that the price of 8K panels remains more than double that of their 4K cousins, and that it isn't clear yet if 8K can follow 4K’s development path.

As such, WitsView said 8K TVs will account for just 0.2 percent of all TV sales in 2019.

While the industry waits for the 8K ecosystem to be developed, WitsView said TV makers may try to focus on differentiating themselves with new technologies such as Mini LED and dual cell design, which can help enable advanced features such as high dynamic contrast ratios.