Although some TV industry watchers believed that a showdown between Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics over the picture quality of 8K TVs will play out in favor of 8K TV sales, 8K TV sales have actually decreased.
In the third quarter of this year, global 8K TV sales arrived at 16,300 units, down 16 percent from 32,500 units in the previous quarter, market research firm IHS Market said on Nov. 24. 8K TVs went o sale in the fourth quarter of 2017, and its sales have grown steadily this year. In the first quarter of this year, only 15,100 units were sold, but in the second quarter, the sales figure more than doubled to 32,500 units. However, in the third quarter, its sales dropped from the second quarter. In particular, global TV sales in the third quarter grew 14.9 percent to 54.8 million units from 47.71 million units in the previous quarter, but the 8K TV market suffered a slump. 8K TVs accounted for only 0.05 percent of global TV sales in the third quarter.
In particular, a lot of attention is being paid to the fact that 8K TV sales were sluggish as interest in 8K TVs grew as LG Electronics publicly criticized the picture quality of Samsung Electronics' 8K TVs at the IFA in Europe held in Berlin, Germany in September.
LG Electronics continuously attacked Samsung Electronics, It displayed an LG 8K TV and a Samsung 8K TV side by side at the IFA, pointing out that Samsung's product did not meet the 8K quality standards. It also held a 8K TV technology demonstration event in Korea.
Samsung Electronics abandoned its initial stance not to respond to LG Electronics’ offensive, and has actively countered LG Electronics' attacks, intensifying the technical debate over the quality of 8K TVs. At that time, TV industry watchers expected that the 8K TV battle between the two companies would have a positive impact on 8K TV sales as it attracted much attention from consumers.
8K TV sales are not growing rapidly because there are not many vendors yet. Currently, only five companies sell 8K TVs worldwide. They are Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, Sony, Sharp, and TCL. TCL is selling 8K TVs only in China. A lack of content and high prices are also cited as reasons for weak sales. It is highly unlikely that actual 8K TV shipments will meet this year’s forecast. IHS Markit forecast that 8K TV shipments would reach 167,000 units this year but cumulative shipments actually added up to only 75,000 units by the end of the third quarter.
However, Samsung Electronics, the No. 1 global TV maker, is steadily stepping up its efforts to expand the 8K TV market, and much more TV makers including Chinese TV manufacturers are expected to release 8K TVs next year. Therefore, 8K TV sales are expected to surge beginning next year. According to a forecast by IHS Markit, 8K TV shipments are expected to quadruple from 166,700 units this year to 633,700 units next year and further grow to hit 3,039,600 units in 2023.