8K TVs aren't exactly flying off the shelves – and probably won't do anytime soon, according to a new report from market analyst Omdia.
Shipments of 8K TVs accounted for just 0.15% of all TV shipments in 2021, which translates as little over 350,000 units globally. Samsung sold the lion's share – 65% or around 227,500 units – with the majority headed to China.
Sales picked up in the run up to Christmas; consumers purchased 95,500 8K televisions in the last three months of the year – around 15,000 more than the previous quarter.
Nonetheless, 8K TV sales appear to be falling short.
Omnia believes it's because consumers remain "sceptical" about 8K TVs due to the lack of content and the rise of premium 4K TVs. Indeed, it now predicts that "just 2.7 million households worldwide" will have an 8K TV by the end of 2026.
"We see no convincing market demand of further 8K service development. Even in Japan, where there is a true 8K channel (from NHK) uptake has been minimal."
Omnia's gloomy assessment is in stark contrast to some of the bullish predictions made last year. Just 12 months ago, Strategy Analytics claimed that 8K TV sales could hit "72million by 2025" and that prices – which are currently eye-wateringly high in some cases – will "inevitably fall".
The good news is that 'affordable' 8K TVs are on the way. In June 2021, the TCL 8K 6-Series MiniLED QLED TV debuted at just $2199 (around £1600 / AU$3000) for the 65-inch and $2999 (around £2200 / AU$3800) for the 75-inch.
There's no getting away from the fact that 8K content remains very thin on the ground. BT Sport recently produced its first live 8K sports broadcast, but there's no suggestion an 8K sports channel is even close to being launched, so the hunt for 8K content seems set to continue for the forseeable.
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