Taipei, Jan. 16 (CNA) Shipments of organic light-emitting diode (OLED) televisions are expected to outpace those of ultra high-definition (UHD) TVs worldwide by 2015, a local research institute predicted Wednesday.
Global UHD TV shipments will total 500,000 units in 2013 and an estimated 3.2 million units in 2015, compared with OLED TV shipments of 50,000 units this year and 3.24 million units in 2015, according to the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), Taiwan's most prestigious research and development organization.
The gap will widen in 2017, when global OLED TV shipments are expected to top 10 million units, well above an estimated 5.95 million UHD TVs.
Jim Chung, deputy general director of the ITRI's Industrial Economics and Knowledge Research Center (IEK), said the dramatic increase in the OLED TV forecast was based on an improving yield rate and more companies getting involved in manufacturing the technology.
Currently, few manufacturers make OLED TVs due to the high cost, while UHD TVs are produced by a lot more companies, including South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co., Japan's Sharp Corp. and Taiwan's AU Optronics Corp., he said at a press briefing.
The price of an OLED TV is about five times that of an UHD TV of the same size, he noted.
In addition, UHD TVs are limited to screen sizes of 50 inches or above, while OLED TVs can be manufactured in sizes ranging from 32 inches to 55 inches, giving them a potentially bigger market, Chung said.
Taiwanese display manufacturers can work with Chinese brands to produce LCD TVs, which include UHD models, with screen sizes of 50 inches or above, as China is forecast to gain a bigger share of the global big-screen TV market in the next few years, he said.
China is expected to absorb 28 percent of global shipments of LCD TVs 50 inches and above this year, 29 percent in 2015, and 30 percent in 2017, Chung said, citing a report by his institute.
"It'll be a good opportunity for Taiwanese companies to expand their global market share," he said.
Also at the press briefing, an analyst told CNA that the growing popularity of smart handheld devices is speeding up the development of Internet of Things (IOT) technology applications.
"Smart handheld devices such as smartphones and tablets are becoming hubs that connect everything in our daily lives," said Chi Chao-yin, a division director at the IEK.
The rising penetration rates of those gadgets have fast-tracked IOT technology, which has been widely discussed over the past few years, she said.
IOT technology is defined as a world that interconnects physical objects and virtual data and environments, which interact with each other in real time.
Citing a survey by Gtk Digital World, Chi said that 55 percent and 44 percent of households in the United States have at least one smartphone and one tablet, respectively, compared with 36 percent and 1 percent, respectively, in July 2010.
(By James Lee)