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A fresh report due in July from Informa Telecoms & Media states that global sales of connected TVs will fly by games consoles for the first time in 2011. Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony will sell 37 million consoles this year, but consumers will buy 52 million connected TVs from the likes of Samsung, Sony and LG.
According to the report authors, the issue facing CE manufacturers is how to take advantage of forecasted burgeoning connected devices sales and whether they want to be a power gatekeepers or simply service providers.
“The market for connected devices - TVs, Blu-ray players, games consoles, media-streaming devices and hybrid set-top boxes - is continuing to grow globally, as consumers seek to access services such as Netflix and iPlayer via their TVs," said Andrew Ladbrook, analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media, in a statement. "In 2016, 1.8 billion in-home video devices - including tablets - will be sold, an increase of almost 800 percent from today.”
Informa adds that the biggest losers will be media-streaming devices, like Apple TV. For Apple to effectively compete in this arena, Informa says, Apple must launch a TV, or turn Apple TV into something more than a convenient way to access video via iTunes.
The consumer electronics manufacturers giants like Samsung, LG and Sony stand to make the biggest gains but TV manufacturers will be faced with a conflict of interest. Do they take the reins of the horse or simply get in the carriage for the ride? Connected TV has the potential to be extremely disruptive to the traditional value chain in TV but it's also not very familiar territory for the CE builders.
"These established companies should be wary of Chinese manufacturers such as Hisense and TCL," added Ladbrook. "These manufacturers are following the high-volume, low-price model laid down by Samsung and are likely to be the biggest beneficiaries of connected TVs as the Chinese market burgeons to sales of over 47 million in 2016.