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Smart devices to thrive in 2013, says analyst

Posted: 07 Feb 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:smart device? LCD TV? 3D TV? smartphone? tablets?

TrendForce has released a forecast showing the upcoming trends in the technology industry. Since the end of last year, two main concepts have taken the market by storm, from TVs to smartphones and tablets to PCs. The smart device market is set for growth, the analytics firm emphasized.

Growth in TV displays
By mid-year, digital LCD TV display sizes will increase noticeably. According to TrendForce, panel shipments sized at 40, 50 and 60 inches will see greater visibility in Q2, with an increase to 12 per cent, compared to 6-8 per cent in 2012. While retail prices are expected to fall, large display TVs are not expected to become universal overnight, mainly due to the fact that larger devices may not be practical for some households. For those that do have the space though, a larger screen at a lower price is undoubtedly attractive. Additionally, TVs with smaller frames and thinner bodies are becoming increasingly popular. According to TrendForce research, in 2013 TVs with ultra-thin frames will see a surge in 20136-8mm products will account for 17.8 per cent of the market, while sub-6mm products will take an even larger 22.2 per cent share.

Increase in LED penetration
As the use of LED backlight modules in LCD TVs is already an established trend, penetration rate is expected to reach 90 per cent in 2013. In other words, there are very few LCD TVs that still use CCFL backlights, which renders the term "LED TV" more or less superfluous. OLED TVs still have a low penetration rate, with only 0.2 per cent of the market. It is unlikely OLED TVs will pose a threat to its LED counterparts, as its penetration rate is expected to reach a mere 1.15 per cent by 2015.

Increased visibility for 4K Ultra HD resolution
Going along with the expanding TV display trend is 4K resolution (3840 x 2160 pixels, vertical resolution approximately 4K2K). 4K provides twice as much resolution as FHD (1920 x 1080 pixels), but in reality, due to high panel cost and a lack of quality viewing material, it is too early to say whether 4K is here to stay. Like the 3D TVs that caused a commotion last year, 4K may be out of most consumers' range. Regardless, manufacturers are sure to heavily promote 4K products, but it will be a while before the new spec becomes commonplace.

Limited growth for touch PCs
While the smartphone's distinguishing touch screen has made its way to PCs and notebooks, and the new Windows 8 supports touch functions, there is a US$150-250 price gap between notebooks with touch displays and those without. As notebook prices are plummeting and touch-compatible software is still lacking, the trendy devices have so far only been popular amongst high-end users and consumers that want the latest and greatest. TrendForce expects touch notebook penetration rate will only reach 7.3% in 2013, although an increase is possible if either software improves or touch module supply changes result in lower device prices.

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