The TV industry isn't contracting in the same way the PC industry is, but TV manufacturers are still desperately searching for the next big feature that can convince satisfied HDTV owners to upgrade their screens. Smart TV features such as apps and streaming content channels will certainly help, but only in a limited way as streaming boxes such as the Apple TV can be had for less than $100.
With the 3D TV experiment now burned out TV manufacturers are betting heavily that Ultra HD displays will be the next feature to excite the consumer market. This year's Consumer Electronics Show was filled with Ultra HD displays from every major TV manufacturer, with a few even showing off advanced "8K" screens. Those same manufacturers are now confident that Ultra HD will be the kick the TV market needs.
A new DigiTimes report today shows that Sony, one of the largest TV manufacturers in the world, expects Ultra HD sales to take off during 2014. The report cites Sony as predicting that its Ultra HD sales will quadruple this year. In China alone the company expects its Ultra HD sales to increase by six times its 2013 sales numbers.
Sony also expects to gain a full 10% of LCD TV shipments during 2014. The company is shooting for 20 million LCD TV shipments by the year's end.
A majority of Sony's TV shipments during the coming year are expected to have Ultra HD displays. DigiTimes, citing unnamed market observers, estimates that Sony will ship 13 to 15 million Ultra HD TVs during 2014.
The report also cites Sony as saying its TV market strategy this year will focus on high-end displays, similar to its strategy in past years. In addition, the report claims that Sony will begin focusing more on in-house production rather than outsourced manufacturing.
This strategy fits well within the major changes that Sony has recently announced for its TV division. The company announced in February that its TV division will be spun off into a subsidiary. Though the subsidiary is not expected to turn a profit in 2014, the company believes that this restructuring will make the division more competitive in the near future.