Industry predicts greater uptake of 3-D TVs

After adjusting its marketing messages to downplay 3-D as the only option for the new generation of TV sets, the consumer electronics industry is predicting a significant increase in worldwide shipments, according to market research firm IHS iSuppli. It expects 23.4 million units to be delivered to retailers by the end of the year. That’s a 463 percent increase over last year, but it does not reflect actual sales numbers. The research firm said it believes that sports-related content will drive 3-D uptake followed by prime-time entertainment, films and documentaries.

Driven by price declines and an increasing availability of content, another year of triple-digit growth is expected in 2012, when shipments will rise by 132 percent to 54.2 million units. Global shipments will hit the 100 million-unit mark by 2014, and then hit 159.2 million in 2015.

“In a major recalibration effort, television brands are changing strategies this year following lukewarm response to 3-D in 2010 when consumers balked at the high price of sets and the lack of 3-D content,” said Riddhi Patel, director for TV systems and retail services at IHS, in a report. “In 2011, however, brands are marketing 3-D not as a must-have technology but as a desirable feature, similar to the approach they have taken with Internet connectivity.”

Prices for 3-D TVs fell 9 percent during March 2011 compared to February, according to the “U.S. TV Price and Specifications Tracker,” a monthly IHS iSuppli service that tracks U.S. TV prices.