A new ABI Research forecast predicts a strong rise in standalone Blu-ray player shipments, with the figure expected to top 62.5 million in 2011.
ABI Research believes Blu-ray shipments will double from the start of 2009 to the end of 2010, and shipments will only increase further in 2011. By the end of 2009, Blu-ray players were in just 7 percent of households – but will be in almost one-in-five houses, predicted at 18 percent, before 2012.
Blu-ray shipments are now increasing due to price declines for Blu-ray movies and players — along with larger, flatter high-definition TVs that include Web connections, 3D, and other custom features.
“The solid growth in Blu-ray player shipments highlights a trend within the wider consumer electronics market,” said Mike Inouye, industry analyst. “Larger, fixed-location devices such as Blu-ray players and flat panel TVs are enjoying rapid adoption relative to many classes of small, portable devices.”
Both Microsoft and Apple are avoiding Blu-ray in favor of focusing on streaming services, but Blu-ray is expected to have market control for the next two-to-three years at the least. Sony has embraced Blu-ray with the PlayStation 3, but also includes streaming services.
Best Buy, Walmart, Target, Blockbuster, and other brick and mortar stores have increased Blu-ray marketing to include HDTVs playing Blu-ray movies in-store. Customers previously said they were waiting for prices to decline – but some analysts remained hesitant whether or not Blu-ray would be adopted.
I expect manufacturers to continue promoting the benefits of Blu-ray, so expect a continued sales increase through late 2012. As more products — including Blu-ray players — include streaming services, I think it’s only a matter of time before Web-connected devices cut into Blu-ray sales.