NPD Report: DVD Player Sales Sizzle in First Half -- Along With Bargain VCR Sales20 Aug, 2001 By: Hive News
Despite a softening economy, consumers have been eager to get their hands on the latest consumer electronics, according to market research firm NPD Intelect.
Digital TV sets, DVD players, personal digital recorders, digital music players and digital cameras have doubled and in some cases tripled in sales during the first half of 2001 when compared with the same period last year.
The video equipment category showed one of the biggest growth spurts during the first half of 2001. Unit sales of digital TV sets, primarily high definition TVs, increased 230% when compared to the same period one year ago. Personal video recorder (PVRs using TiVO,ReplayTV and UltimateTV systems) unit sales increased 198.5%.
The DVD player's affordable pricing ($205 vs. $273 one year ago) helped to keep the sizzle in the already hot category. Even the VCR, whicheveryone expected to be replaced by PVRs and DVDs, is doing well.
After an all-time record year in 2000, consumers are still snapping up VCRs at bargain prices to replace the ones they have purchased 10 or 15years ago.
Digital music players and personal CD players were hot sellers in the audio equipment category with unit sales increases in first half 2001 of 58.5 and 47.2 respectively. While mini disc has been slow to catch on inthe U.S. market, a subset of portable mini disc recorders with a PC interface has grown 319.1%.
"Music fans who want to download Internet music or record from CDs have found that mini disc provides an alternative to MP3 recorders and the cost of blank mini disc media is much lower than silicon memory," said Jim Hirschberg, director of consumer electronics, NPDIntelect.
In the imaging category, digital cameras and camcorders came out winners in first half 2001. Unit sales of digital cameras skyrocketed 65.5%, while conventional still cameras decreased 6.8% in unit salesduring the same period last year. Camcorders that store information digitally rather than in the conventional analog format increased 43.3%. Technology improvements helped reduce the selling price of digitalcamcorders by $158 compared to last year.
Similar to VCR sales, the analog camcorders have not gone away, sales continue to stay at last year's level.
Hands-free cell phone legislation seems to be having an effect on unitsales of cell phone accessories. During the first half of 2001, headsets andother cell phone accessories grew 49.8% in units sold. Cell phones experienced a marginal increase of 5.6%compared to the same period one year ago.
A total of 43 consumerelectronics categories tracked in first half (January - June) 2001experienced growth of 5.7% in unit sales, compared to the same period in year 2000.