Some years ago we had convex-curved CRT TVs, then the flat TVs came along, and now our TVs need to have a concave curve – at least if the TV makers have their way. The first indicators suggest that there is demand for curved TVs, and TV makers are bumping up orders.
But is it more than a niche?
At this year’s CES 2014 show in Las Vegas it became clear that TV makers have begun experimenting again to find the next big trend. We saw curved TVs, OLED TVs, 4K TV, Smart TVs and much more, but what will resonate with customers? What will stick to the wall?
If we are to believe Digitimes’ sources, Samsung and LG as well as Japanese and Chinese TV makers have increased their orders for curved Ultra HD panels. The curved TVs are picking up momentum in the high-end segment, and more panel makers will start production in 2014.
The biggest surprise at CES 2014 probably came from Samsung. They have decided that their popular 8 LED series will be a curved TV, and they also have an Ultra HD TV range in the same form factor. In Asia, curved TVs are more widespread as Sony and Chinese manufacturers introduced models in 2013 that are unavailable in Europe and the US.
Digitimes does not report sales numbers, but sales of curved TVs are likely still very low on a global scale. The question is if the new form factor will stay around in the long run or if it is another flash in the pan. TV makers have yet to present a convincing argument for the curved format.
Curved LCDs are 20-30 % more expensive to produce than flat ones, according to the sources.