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4K Wont Save TV: Analysts

By Oonagh Reidy | Thursday | 09/01/2014

As CES gets into full swing in Las Vegas, with glossy TVs and smarter than smart wrist bands and earphones analysts warn the newbies wont save ailing tech market, just yet

But what about all the clever Curved and 4K TV from Samsung, Panasonic, Sony et al or the smart mugs, wrist bands and heart rate headphones from Intel and LG? 

This emerging tech won't ship in high-enough volumes in 2014 to rescue the ailing consumer electronics this year, warn analysts IHS. 

"While exciting new technologies such as UHD and wearable devices are being shown at CES, it will take a few years until these products attain enough of a volume to drive the growth of the overall CE market," said Jordan Selburn, analyst, IHS. 

"Until these products enter the mainstream, traditional CE revenue will continue to dwindle." 

IHS now predicts demand for pricey Ultra HD TV (with four times the res of a HDTV) will soar 500 percent to 10 million in 2014.

However, this remarkable rise is from a low base. Just 1.5 million UHD TVs were shipped in 2013. 

38.5 million UHD TV (known as 4K) will ship - but not until 2018, so its clear its going to take a while for 4K to fully charm the consumer. 

And considering the acute lack of UHD content out there - apart from Netflix House of Cards TV show, that is, its no wonder consumers aren't racing to the shops, to buy the TVs that cost $5000 and over, just yet.  

CE revenue will slump 2% to $250 billion this year, say IHS - the fourth consecutive annual decline. As traditional devices like TVs, set-top boxes, consoles come under increasing pressure from the ever popular smartphones and tablets - which consumers increasingly are using in their place. 

In a dramatic illustration of this trend, global factory revenue for smartphones and tablets in 2013 were larger than the entire CE market- for the first time ever. 

Demand for wearable tech like smartwatches, Bluetooth headsets, head-up displays and Google Glasses is also set to treble, IHS believe. 

Shipments will grow to 130.7 million in 2018, up from 51.2m in 2013. 

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