Connected TVs made up 20 percent of all television shipments in 2010, according to market research firm DisplaySearch. But the best is yet to come as it expects their shipments to grow at a 30 percent compound annual rate through 2014 to reach 123 million units.
A lot of the category's growth momentum is coming from emerging markets like Eastern Europe and China. According to the firm's forecast, Internet-connected TVs will account for 33 percent of all TVs sold in China in 2013. Similarly, shipments in Eastern Europe are expected to top 10 million units in 2014, a four-fold increase compared to the 2.5 million units shipped in 2010.
“The connected TV market is developing beyond mature regions like Western Europe and Japan,” said Paul Gray, Director of TV Electronics. “With some emerging countries having excellent broadband infrastructure, the adoption of connected TV capabilities is a natural next step in TV feature innovation.”
Modern connected TVs tend to go beyond simple web browsing capabilities, with an increasing number of sets supporting a wide array of apps. While DisplaySearch expects connected TVs to deliver a much more complex app experience in the near future, it also sees a market for no-frills smart TVs only featuring “enhanced broadcast services such as Hbb.TV or basic video on demand (such as Netflix, Maxdome, Acetrax or VUDU).”