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Internet-enabled TV trumps 3D TV in 2010, says iSuppli

While the consumer electronics headlines this year have been dominated by 3D television news, the real story in 2010 is about Internet-Enabled TVs (IETVs), according to research firm iSuppli.

Global shipments of IETVs – TV sets with built-in Internet capability – will amount to 27.7 million units in 2010. In contrast, 3D set shipments will total only 4.2 million this year. While 3-D television shipments are set to soar in the coming years, iSuppli’s forecast shows the biggest near-term growth story is in IETV.

Shipments of IETVs in 2010 will rise by a remarkable 124.9% from 12.3 million units last year. All told, IETV shipments will expand at rates north of 50% for the next two years, and then continue to increase at solid double-digit rates until the end of 2014, according to iSuppli. By then, global IETV shipments are anticipated to reach 148.3 million units, accounting for 54% of the total flat-panel TV market.

“Despite aggressive promotions from the industry and intense consumer interest generated by the blockbuster Avatar and other titles, the 3D TV market in 2010 will be limited to a small pool of enthusiastic early adopters,” said Riddhi Patel, director and principal analyst for television systems at iSuppli. “In contrast, IETV is entering the mainstream in 2010. This is because 3D is still dealing with a number of barriers, including cost, content availability and interoperability, while IETV provides immediate benefits by allowing TV viewers to access a range of content readily available on the Internet.”

Among regions, North America and Western Europe will make up the largest consumption market for IETVs from 2010 to 2014. Japan will lay claim as the third largest market only until 2012, after which it will drop to fifth place, ranking behind both China and the collective area designated as Rest of Asia-Pacific – two distinct territories counted separately in the tallies.

From a semiconductor perspective, IETV will represent a strong growth opportunity for a number of component types in the TV semiconductor space, including multi-format decoders, DRAM and interface Integrated Circuits (IC), according to Randy Lawson, principal analyst, display electronics, for iSuppli. Combined revenue from sales of these semiconductors will rise to more than $2 billion by 2014, up from just $222 million in 2009, iSuppli figures show.

Overall, says iSuppli, IETV will represent the second-best growth area for the TV semiconductor market, next only to LED backlighting.

Story filed 02.08.10

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