According to a recent study conducted by NPD, only 14 percent of consumers that plan on purchasing a new HDTV within the next six months consider 3D technology a “must have” feature. While 68 percent call 3D a “nice feature to have they may use in the future,” it’s not a motivating factor in their purchase decision. When it comes to factors that are detouring consumers from purchasing a new 3DTV, eighty percent of consumers dislike being forced to wear glasses during 3D presentations. While costs of 3D televisions have dropped over the past two years, expensive accessories like extra pairs of glasses are still a deterrent.
While a lack of 3D content is still a factor for some consumers, the amount of people that cite this factor as an issue has dropped from 21 percent during May 2011 to 14 percent. Since the amount of 3D movies and games has increased over the past year, it’s likely that consumers feel more comfortable finding content to watch in 3D.
Sporting events are also drawing in new fans of 3D technology and companies invested in 3D technology plan on marketing 3D features at large scale sporting events like the upcoming Summer Olympics in London.
According to NPD Group Director of Industry Analysis Ben Arnold, he states “3D has been a success for the television market from a sales perspective. However, few consumers cite watching content in 3D as a reason for purchasing a TV, indicating that other factors such as screen size, resolution, and Internet connectivity hold more importance.” In short, consumers are purchasing televisions with 3D features, but larger panels and Smart TV features are motivating factors when it comes to a purchase.
As mentioned in a related NPD blog post, connected televisions have seen a 50 percent growth rate year over year and approximately 20 percent of consumers cited Internet connectivity as a factor in their purchase decision. Arnold speculates that companies that have a stronger position in ownership of both content and hardware will gain an advantage over competitors. Apple, for instance, would have a distinct advantage if the company does decide to launch a television.
While 3D technology isn’t driving people to the purchase, consumers are still upgrading their televisions for the previously mentioned factors. 3D television sales have nearly doubled over the previous year and over 20 percent of televisions sold that were larger than 40-inches were also 3D. However, availability may also factor into these purchases. For instance, nearly 60 percent of all 2012 Sony models that are 40-inches or larger are 3D capable. In addition, the majority of the 2012 Samsung and Panasonic models 40-inches or larger are 3D capable.
Arnold also speculates that the practicality of voice and gesture controls may not encourage people to purchase a new television when a remote control can accomplish certain tasks quicker than attempting to talk or wave at a television. In addition, it’s possible that consumers will prefer controlling actions on a television though a mobile application on a smartphone or tablet due to a more effective user interface than a standard remote control.