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3D TV To Drive Bundling in Q4

10/18/2010 12:01:00 AM Eastern

NEW YORK — Although manufacturers
have effectively stayed clear of price slashing
on the young 3DTV category this year,
analysts said slower than expected adoption
levels should encourage new promotional
activities around the holidays.

Paul Gagnon, DisplaySearch
North American TV research director,
said he is expecting both
discounting and bundling to
spark interest for the holidays.

“3D TV sales have been lackluster so far
this year, as most are aware,” observed Gagnon.
“The sales seem pretty strongly tied to
bundling of glasses/3D Blu-ray players and
movies. So, I really expect 3D TV sales during
the holiday to be strongly tied to bundle
promotions, especially for exclusive movie
releases like ‘Avatar’ with Panasonic.”

Similarly, Tamaryn Pratt, Quixel Research
principal, said, “We know from our research
that glasses are perceived as valuable for
consumers today and we expect manufacturers
will increase the number of glasses
included in their bundles.”

She noted, “We’re expecting October
price movement the entry 46-inch 3D models
as well as more price cuts throughout
Q4,” Pratt continued. “In the past four to six
quarters, only about 4 to 5 percent of LCD
TV sales were done above $2,000, so manufacturers
must reduce 3D TV prices in this
economy.”

Riddhi Patel, iSuppli television systems principal analyst, said the season is shaping up
to see a spate of 3D bundled promos.

“These will include glasses, Blu-ray Disc
players and a movie/game or two as part of a
big bundle,” she said. “Check out Costco —
there are some nice 3D bundles from Samsung
and Panasonic” there already.

As for sales expectations for 3D TVs over the
holidays, Quixel’s Pratt said, “3D 720p plasma
[such as the 50-inch plasma set introduced by
Samsung late in the year] has the potential to
have an impact in Q4 but the question is whether
a $50 to $100 step is too much for the price
conscious consumer. An LCD TV 3D entry in
a new class of product would also propel the
overall 3D segment.”

One source told TWICE that going into the
holiday sales period Samsung’s 720p plasma
set was not selling as briskly as some had expected.

Meanwhile, the heavy concentration on
launching the first of the new 3DTV sets this
year took much of the spotlight away from Internet
Protocol TVs (or so-called connected
TVs), which could play a bigger role around the
holidays.

“Since 3D sets were at the high end of model
lineups, and were often bundled with other
features like LED and IPTV, consumers kind of
tuned out these premium featured sets,” noted
Gagnon. “Given [recent] comments by Brian
Dunn about a connected holiday, I expect to
see a stronger focus on Internet connected TV
products during the holiday season this year.”

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