Strong Demand For Big-Screen HDTVs Halts Price Decline In USA: iSuppli

Jonathan Sutton

Americans are displaying a voracious appetite for big-screen HDTV sets, so much so that price declines have been staved off by strong demand, market research and consulting firm iSuppli has reported. Going against the trend of decreasing prices as a whole, the average price of flat-panel televisions measuring at least 50 inches in screen size actually rose in January 2011 compared to December last year.

Buying a big-screen HDTV

According to iSuppli, the average price of flat-screen TVs sold in the United States dropped US $32 from $1166 last December to $1134 during January this year. However, this still represented an uptick over the previous year when the average price was $1120, mainly owing to the stable (or even higher) prices of 50-inch-plus models atoning for the discounts offered on smaller-sized displays.

The research company cited the implementation of more advanced technological features on larger sets, as well as the recovering economy in the USA as factors that boosted the appeal of 50-inch-and-bigger HDTV displays among consumers. Fuelled by healthy demand, the price of a flat-panel TV larger than 50 inches typically went up $47 in January this year in comparison to a month ago.

LED backlighting technology and 3D capabilities are the step-up features which have been responsible for driving up the average January 2011 prices of LCD TVs sized 50 inches and larger $39 month-on-month and $202 year-on-year. When it comes to 50in-plus LCD TV models, those equipped with LED backlight posted a 2.6% rise in average pricing compared to a year ago, whereas those boasting 3D technology increased 1.9% over a month-long period to settle at $3620 on average.

Large-screen plasma TV panels also saw a similar hike in prices, with models sized 50 inches or bigger registering a price increase of $43 to hit an average of $1816 during January 2011. Worryingly for plasma lovers though, the number of PDP models available on the US market continued to shrink – since June last year there has been a 44% decline.