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NPD: Christmas 3DTV Unit Sales Skyrocket 100%

8 Jan, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Unit sales of 3DTVs increased more than 100% during the five-week winter retail holiday period ending Dec. 24, according to new data from The NPD Group.

While 3D movies remain a mainstay at the box office, 3D consumption in the home has been sluggish due in part to premium prices on 3DTVs, limited content availability and requisite eyewear, among other issues.

That said, 3DTVs accounted for one in five dollars spent on TVs during the holidays — underscored by the fact that sales of big-screen TVs, 50 inches or bigger, increased more than 32%. One in six flat-panel TVs sold were above 50 inches, with screen size considered a prerequisite for 3D viewing.

Overall TV sales dipped just 4% in dollars while unit sales were essentially flat from 2010.

“2011 was the first year in quite awhile where the real drags on the core CE marketplace were not TVs and PCs,” said Stephen Baker, VP of industry analysis at NPD. “Revenue for those two segments outperformed while the rest of the market dropped by more than 7%. The accelerated rate of decline in older technology categories such as DVD, GPS and MP3 players put a ceiling on how well the industry could perform during the holiday.”

In dollars spent, Blu-ray Disc players declined 17%, compared with a 3.8% increase in 2010, reflecting steep price discounts on BD players starting around Black Friday — the official begin to the winter retail holiday.

Total Christmas consumer electronics sales revenue fell 6%, a slight improvement over the 6.2% decline in 2010. The revenue does not include mobile phones, tablets, e-readers and video game consoles — perennially the top-selling holiday CE items.

“It was truly a mixed bag this year,” said Baker. “Many newer technologies posted strong gains, although most of those products, such as streaming devices, still generate volumes too small to impact the overall market trend. These newer technologies are likely to be the ones to watch in 2012 as the industry continues to search for high growth opportunities to replace aging product segments.”

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