El Segundo, Calif. - Second-quarter sales of advanced features and larger screen sizes helped average retail prices on U.S. flat-panel televisions climb to the highest level in two and a half years, according to a study released Monday by
The market research firm's U.S. TV Price and Specifications Market Tracker Report showed pricing for U.S. flat-panel televisions reached $1,224 during the second quarter, up 3 percent from $1,190 the previous quarter, and 9 percent from $1,124 in the same period a year ago.
The firm said the second-quarter level represented "the peak pricing point in the U.S. market for at least 10 quarters, dating to the beginning of 2010, as shown in the figure below."
The pricing figures account for all television technologies.
"The climb in U.S. flat-panel TV prices is attributed to market gains in retail among new sets sporting advanced technologies, such as 3D, integrated interactivity and LED backlight technology used in LCD TV sets," stated Edward Border, IHS TV technology analyst. "Consumers also are buying a larger portion of sets with web 2.0 features characteristic of smart TVs. Moreover, some large-sized television models in both the LCD and plasma categories increased their share, contributing to overall growth in pricing."
The report found that the availability of 3D sets at retail rose to 30.9 percent in the second quarter, up from 27.8 percent the prior quarter. A similar increase occurred for smart TVs, growing to 44.3 percent, up from 40.9 percent, and for LED-backlit LCD sets, rising to 63.5 percent, up from 59.2 percent, IHS said.
Specifically, availability increases were noted in some large screen sizes between the end of the first quarter and the close of the second.
The share of 46-inch LCDs at retail rose to 12.2 percent, up from 11.8 percent, while 60-inch LCD increased to 5.2 percent from 4.2 percent.
Plasma sets saw an even greater expansion, with 50-inch screens rising to 23.8 percent, up from 21.2 percent; 60-inch screens increasing to 23.6 percent, up from 18.6 percent; and 65-inch screens growing to 6.9 percent, up from 6.1 percent.
In LCD TV, the majority of screen sizes smaller than 42 inches saw an increase in average retail pricing with the growing popularity of FullHD, LED backlighting and Internet connectivity.
An exception was noticed in the continued decline of average pricing on 32-inch models. By the second quarter, the average 32-inch set pricing was $435, down from $495 in the first quarter.
Pricing for 42-inch LCD TVs plunged to $761, from $807 in May, following two consecutive months of price hikes, IHS said.
In smart TVs, average pricing in June fell to $1,907 from $2,015 in May, but rose still up from the $1,724 level seen in June last year.
IHS said, "Smart TV can be considered a major technological success so far this year, appealing to consumers with its dynamic mix of interactive features, easy integration with set-top boxes, emphasis on online streaming capabilities and access to over-the-top cable content."
For plasma sets, pricing in the second quarter was up for sizes ranging from the 46-inch to the 60-inch models, declining only in the 42-inch and 65-inch categories.
Average pricing in the second quarter for plasma displays as a whole reached $1,628, while that for LCD TVs amounted to $1,120 during the same period.