While Samsung has become the world leader in sales for the
current crop of high-definition televisions, Sony (NYSE:
), LG and other corporations are betting heavily on the next
generation. Known as Ultra HD TVs, these new sets provide a
resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 -- four times that of the current HD
resolution (hence original "4K" moniker). Sony is selling its first
Ultra HD set -- which includes an Xperia Tablet S to use as a
remote -- for
. LG's model is a tad cheaper,
retailing for $19,999
Few consumers will buy a TV that retails for as much as a car.
However, the entire HDTV industry started with overinflated prices.
Now that that MSRP has dropped to a more reasonable range, many
consumers have made the switch. By 2016, Strategy Analytics
believes that Ultra HD TVs will have infiltrated 10 million
"Our UHD forecast has been released and we are projecting ten
million homes worldwide owning a UHD TV by 2016," Strategy
Analytics analyst David Mercer wrote on the
. "We're looking forward to seeing the first wave of these products
and some great 4K content next week in Vegas."
Mercer's analysis does not include the possibility that Apple
) will release a high-end TV over the next few years. Trip
Chowdhry, the Managing Director of Equity Research at Global
Equities Research, believes that a Retina Display TV would cost
at least $25,000
To keep the costs down, many analysts believe that Apple will
not build a TV with the largest resolution possible. This would be
a vastly different strategy from its mobile devices, which are
gradually receiving the addition of a Retina Display.
However, Apple's largest devices -- including the iMac and the
27-inch Cinema Display -- are still without the Retina
Morgan Stanley's Katy Huberty expects Apple to employ a similar
strategy when it launches its first television. She estimates that
the Mac maker could sell
13 million units
at $1,060 each. These sales would occur in America alone; she did
not provide any expectations for global sales.
It is not yet known how an Apple-made TV could affect the future
of Ultra HD sales. Apple historically builds premium products, so
it is difficult to believe that the company will not release a
large Retina Display within the next few years. In the meantime,
however, anyone who buys a low-res Apple TV set will be less likely
to buy a high-res model -- or an Ultra HD TV -- tomorrow. Unlike
smartphones, TVs are not throwaway devices.
This could alter the transition that analysts expect to occur as
consumers replace and/or upgrade their existing TVs.
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice.
All rights reserved.
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