Revenues from large format displays (LFDs) with ultra HD (UHD) resolution have almost doubled, and unit sales tripled, in the last quarter of 2017, according to the latest distribution data published by European IT market researcher Context.
Overall, sales of LFDs are continuing to grow and increased by almost +15% year-on-year in Q4 2017. Full HD (FHD) remains the dominant resolution, accounting for more than 80% of total sales.

“However, the main drivers of growth are displays with the highest resolutions; sales of these increased even faster in Q4 and now account for almost 30% of revenues,” says Dominika Koncewicz, senior analyst: displays at Context. “In fact, while revenues from these displays grew by over 160% year-on-year in Q4, revenues from FHD LFDs declined for the second quarter in a row falling by -1%.”

Interest in other types of LFD, such as those with stretched or ultra-wide screens, is continuing to grow: unusual form factors can help to utilise niche spaces like store shelves, ceilings or corridors.

As well as having dropped the prices of high-resolution displays (by over -20% year-on-year for the top screen sizes) in Q4 2017, vendors are trying to incentivize customers by adding features. These have included additional business-ready functionalities, enhanced data security or extending operation time to 24/7. Distributors have also noted increased sales of models with embedded operating systems and WiFi that offer more operational flexibility.

Samsung and Sony are still the leading vendors in the competitive 4K/UHD LFD market, accounting for over 60% of volume sales and over 40% revenues going through WE distribution in Q4 2017. However, the results show that BenQ and iiyama, who now offer their own UHD displays, are successfully starting to catch up.