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TV Prices Hit Two-Year High

30 Jul, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel

The average retail price for a large-screen flat-panel television reached $1,224 in the second quarter (ended June 30) — up 9% from $1,124 charged for the average unit during the previous-year period, according to new data from IHS.

The price upswing, which was 3% greater than the first quarter and the highest since Q1 in 2010, is largely attributed to TVs featuring Internet connectivity, related apps, 3D and larger screen sizes.

Indeed, 3DTVs’ share of all units available at retail increased to 30.9% in the second quarter, up from 27.8% in the first quarter. A similar increase occurred for smart TVs, growing to 44.3%, up from 40.9%; and for LED-backlit LCD sets, rising to 63.5%, up from 59.2%.

Among specific set categories, price increases also took place in some large-screen sizes between the end of Q1 and the close of Q2.

The 46-inch LCD’s share in retail rose to 12.2%, up from 11.8%. Meanwhile, share for the 60-inch LCD increased to 5.2%, up from 4.2%. Plasma sets saw an even greater expansion, with the 50-inch rising to 23.8%, up from 21.2%; the 60-inch increasing to 23.6%, up from 18.6%; and the 65-inch growing to 6.9%, up from 6.1%.

Within the LCD TV space, the majority of the smaller, less than-42-inch screen sizes saw their average retail price increase, as features including full HD, LED and Internet connectivity became more widespread in 2012 models.

“The climb in U.S. flat-panel TV prices is attributed to market gains in retail among new sets sporting advanced technologies, such as 3D, integrated interactivity and light-emitting diode (LED) backlight technology used in LCD TV sets,” said Edward Border, analyst for TV technology at IHS. “Consumers also are buying a larger portion of sets with Web 2.0 features characteristic of smart TVs. Moreover, some large-sized television models in both the LCD and plasma categories increased their share, contributing to overall growth in pricing.”

Meanwhile, pricing on select TVs declined in Q2. The average price of a 32-inch TV dropped to $435, down from $495 in the first quarter. Pricing in June for the 42-inch LCD TV category plunged to an all-time low of $761, down from $807 in May, after two consecutive months of price hikes.

In the smart TV sector, average pricing in June fell to $1,907 from $2,015 in May, but it was up significantly compared to $1,724 in June last year. From a pricing perspective, the smart TV can be considered a major technological success so far this year, appealing to consumers with its mix of interactive features, easy integration with set-top boxes, emphasis on online streaming capabilities and access to over-the-top cable content.

For plasma sets, pricing in the second quarter was up for sizes ranging from the 46-inch to the 60-inch models, retreating only in the 42-inch and 65-inch categories. Average pricing in the second quarter for plasma displays as a whole reached $1,628, while that for LCD TVs amounted to $1,120 during the same period.

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