Sales of 8K TVs are slower than anticipated. Analyst company IHS Markit has cut the sales forecast for this year by almost 80% and has slashed the forecast for 2019 by more than 50%, according to a report by Korea Herald.
A slow start for 8K
In April 2018, IHS Markit expected 8K TV sales to total 85,000 units for this year. That number has now been revised to 18,000 units, despite Samsung launching its first 8K TVs ahead of schedule.
IHS Markit has also lowered its sales forecast for 2019 to 430,000 8K TVs, less than half of the 905,000 TVs anticipated in the company’s earlier forecast. Global 8K TV sales are expected to reach 1.89 million in 2020 and 5.4 million in 2022.
- "Currently, Samsung Electronics Co. and Japan's Sharp Corp. are the only companies that have released 8K TVs in the market, so the size is not that big," an industry watcher told Korea Herald.
Wait for HDMI 2.1
Industry watchers attribute the slow start to the lack of content and that consumers are “waiting for more improved 8K TVs”.
That is a polite way of saying that Samsung and Sharp have jumped the gun. Their current 8K TVs lack HDMI 2.1, which is required to input 8K video at decent frame rates. YouTube is one of the only providers to offer 8K video content but the current TVs are not capable of decoding it. Companies are trying to sell the story of the wonders of upscaling but consumers are evidently not buying it.
More TV manufacturers are expected to launch 8K TVs in the coming year as HDMI 2.1 chipsets emerge. Some of these TVs may be showcased at CES 2019 in Las Vegas next month.