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Connected TVs to overtake games consoles this year

Worldwide sales of connected TVs will outstrip games consoles for the first time this year, according to a new report from Informa Telecoms and Media.

The report predicts that Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony will sell a total of 37 million games consoles in 2011, while consumers will buy 52 million connected TVs.

By 2016, the report expects 1.8 in-home video devices, including tablets, will be sold, an increase of almost 800% from today, and 70% of those devices will be capable of being connected to the internet.

The report shows that LG, Samsung and Sony will take the largest share of the connected TV market, but they will face competition from the emergence of Chinese manufacturers including Hisene and TCL. “These manufacturers are following the high-volume low-price model laid down by Samsung and are likely to be the biggest beneficiaries of connected TVs as the Chinese market burgeons to sales of over 47 million in 2016,” said Informa analyst Andrew Ladbrook.

The main losers will be media-streaming devices, which Informa does not believe will move far beyond the niche status they currently occupy. This has major implications for players that have launched stand-alone boxes, not least Apple. Informa believes that, if Apple is to win in the connected home, it must launch a TV, or at least turn its Apple TV device into something more than a convenient way to access video via iTunes.