IFA cites smart TV as the driver for consumer electronics market

But analysts warn against flooding the market until the technology is perfected
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Analysts at IFA have signalled that 2013 could be the year of the smart TV.

At the recent IFA Press Briefing, which gives journalists from around the world the chance to see which trends are growing in the consumer electronics space ahead of the main IFA event in September, a number of speakers highlighted the growing role of connected devices going forward.

According to Maarten de Vries, CEO of TP Vision – the joint venture between Philips and TPV – by 2015, up to 50 per cent of TVs sold in western Europe will be smart TVs, with over 350 million set to be shipped worldwide.

This is apparently due to a number of factors. First has been the boom in consumer take-up of tablets and smartphones. These mobile devices are conducive to a connected home and as consumers become more comfortable using them in a domestic environment, so demand for similarly internet capable devices will rise.

De Vries also noted: “Last year, 76 per cent of Philips consumers used some kind of smart TV app more than 25 times every month – mostly on catch-up services.”

Meanwhile, Paul Gray, director of TV electronics research at DisplaySearch, stated: “The culture change among manufacturers means that TVs are now subject to Moore’s Law”.

He also noted that the biggest adopters of smart TV were the Chinese, because in China the best TV is to be found online rather than on Chinese state television.

“Last year, 76 per cent of Philips consumers used some kind of smart TV app more than 25 times every month – mostly on catch-up services”

Maarten de Vries, TP Vision

Next in terms of adoption was Europe, because of the growing popularity of catch-up services, leaving the United States as the slowest adopter, which was attributed to the trend of tying consumers into paid TV channel packages.

However, he warned that there was a danger of ‘poisoning the water’ as had happened with 3D television, where the rush to compete in an emerging market had resulted in a flood of substandard products.

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