Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Plasma Reaches Less Than $600


Vizio is offering a 32", 720p plasma TV through U.S. Wal-Mart stores for less than US$600, further proving just how competitive the flat-panel TV arena has become. Additionally, the manufacturer is selling a larger, 42" model for just $200 more.

Has the $600 pricing decision been made because of the stronghold that LCD technology has on the 32" flat-panel HDTV market? After all, in Q1 2008, research firm DisplaySearch reported that 32" LCDs dominate the market, representing more than 40% of total LCD TVs shipped. Indeed, it looks this way since Vizio is also launching new LCD TVs for more reasonable pricing: $1,499.99 for a 42" 1080p model and $1,899.99 for a 47" model. If Vizio is looking to help plasma increase marketshare in the 32" category, these aggressive pricing can surely help.

It's mind-baffling to think of a company essentially "blowing out" plasma TVs. How will this bode for the category as a whole? DisplaySearch indicated for Q1 2008 that, although worldwide plasma shipments grew 53% year-over-year (Y/Y) to reach more than three million units, they have shown a quarter-over-quarter (Q/Q) drop of 19%. Interestingly, 32" plasma panels actually rose 4% in the first quarter of this year to account for 15% of the market. Will Vizio's new sub-$600 plasma, which is already available in all 3,400 U.S. Wal-Mart stores, take a huge bite out of LCDs 32" pie?

Indeed pricing in the plasma category (and arguably LCD) has been dropping to meet both consumer demand and the increasingly competitive landscape. There's no doubt that a $600 plasma from Wal-Mart won't do anything to help the price erosion crisis.

And to think that just a few years ago, plasma TVs were products for just the elite of society, costing in the thousands and thousands of dollars...

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2 comments:

David said...

But what about the quality? Is this product going to last for years or are you just contributing to more landfill?

David said...

But what about the quality? Is this product going to last for years or are you just contributing to more landfill?