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LCD TV Price Drops Are No Sure Thing

Post Time:Jul 22,2009Classify:Industry NewsView:438

Many consumers believe that LCD TV prices can go only one way: down. But those who do may be as disappointed as the investors who thought the stock market could only go up.

According to DisplaySearch, some LCD TV set prices have actually increased in the past few months. It’s happening at a major retailer, according to Paul Semenza, a DisplaySearch senior vice president. The reason: a low supply of glass substrates, the building block of LCD TVs.

There is less glass than needed now, and what there is is more expensive. Once consumers cut back on purchases last fall and early this year, Taiwanese glass manufacturers cut production. Taiwan is the second source of glass for much of the TV industry.

As demand began to pick up, the Taiwanese companies started to increase production, but doing so isn’t like turning on a light switch; it takes one to two months for a substrate factory to gear back up. Thus an increase in panel prices beginning last month.

LCD TV prices will begin to fall again, Mr. Semenza said, but nowhere near as rapidly as they have in the past.

DisplaySearch predicts that the price of a typical 32-inch LCD set will drop to $416 during the fourth quarter of this year, from $488 at the beginning of 2009. A 42-inch 720p set will go to $639, from $733, while the price of a 52-inch 1080p will fall to $1,480 in the fourth quarter, from $1,770 in January, a 16 percent decline.

By comparison, during the period a year earlier, the price of a 52-inch 1080p set dropped to $1,902, from $2,646, a 28 percent decrease.

If you’re dismayed by the dwindling drops, think about this: by Christmas, a typical 52-inch LCD TV will still cost about half what it did just two years earlier.

Source: http://gadgetwise.blogs.nytimes.comAuthor: shangyi

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