Television is one of the most mature categories of the home appliance industry, and has played an instrumental role on the progression of artificial intelligence. Chinese TV-makers and internet tech companies are all looking at the opportunity. This, along with the ensuing rapid growth and fierce competition, propels the breakneck expansion of the intelligent television market in China. AVC data shows that smart devices accounted for 89% of total television sales recorded in China in 2018, which is anticipated to edge even higher to 93% in 2019. The popularization of intelligent TV has fueled the explosive growth of smart household appliances in China.
As of present, the overall development of smart TVs in China could be divided into three phases. In phase one, IT companies started the intelligentization of TVs yet the early iterations did not bring substantial improvement to user experience. The second phase is marked by digitalized TVs promoted by the government. These high-definition and interactive television represented a clear step in the intelligentization of the television. The third phase is embarked with the emergence of internet TVs and Android OS-powered smart TVs. Data from AVC indicates that the Android OS-based smart TVs accounted for 78% of smart TVs in 2015, and the number soared to 97% in 2018. Over these few years of advancement, the intelligent television rises as the premier choice among the majority of consumers, which in turn drives the emphatic progress of television intelligentization.
As the expansion of the television market slows down, competition in the industry has fundamentally shifted. Beyond hardware, technology, quality and price, a TV ecosystem underpinned by content and service has emerged as another crucial battlefield, and those that offers better content and service can win over more customers. Meanwhile, artificial intelligence has unleashed huge potential for the TV industry. In combination with big data and machine learning, AI has empowered TVs with functional iterations from voice control to voice interaction, from content search to smart content recommendation based on user preferences, as well as identification of content, all of which have augmented the operability and user-friendliness of TVs. Data from AVC reveals that sales of AI-powered TVs accelerated in Q4 2018, accounting for 56% of total sales.
At present, a sizable number of companies have engaged themselves in the technology development and product R&D of AI-powered TVs. Nearly all major local enterprises have unveiled their own AI TVs, and more than half of these companies claim to have realized breakthrough in artificial intelligence research and innovation. Many TV producers believe that AI-powered TV might function as a strong engine for industry players to overtake competitors in the global arena, and it points to a new path of development. The application of AI in the TV sector will propel the television to become the center of future households in the era of the internet.