Arlington, Va. — Factory sales of digital televisions grew more than 100 percent during the first quarter of 2006, according to Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) market research.
Gary Shapiro, CEA president/CEO, recently announced the tally during a keynote address at the 2006 PARA Management Conference, attended by specialty A/V dealers.
According to CEA figures, the industry sold 3.4 million DTV units during the first quarter of 2006, equaling a 101 percent increase in unit sales over the same time last year. Wholesale DTV dollar sales reached $3.6 million in the period.
First-quarter unit sales to dealers of flat-panel displays rose 201 percent, CEA said. The association recently released a consumer survey showing that 49 percent of consumers expect their next television purchase to be some type of flat-panel technology.
“More than 35 million DTV units now have now been sold since market introduction in 1998,” Shapiro said in his address. “These figures demonstrate that consumers continue to embrace this exciting new technology as we move apace to the end of analog broadcasting. We thank specialty retailers for their leading role in driving this unprecedented transition.”
While celebrating the success, Shapiro also cautioned that much work is still to be done “to make sure all consumers weather this transition smoothly. Specifically, we must work together to ensure that consumers have accurate, easy-to-comprehend information about all aspects of the transition.”
Shapiro outlined CEA’s wealth of voluntary, award-winning educational and promotional initiatives including Web sites, printed collateral and media outreach. CEA currently operates four Web sites focusing on consumer and dealer education: www.antennaweb.org, www.myceknowhow.com, www.CEAconnectionsguide.com and www.ce.org/hdtv.
CEA also provides resources to help train and provide the latest information to retailers who are on the front lines with consumers. These resources include CEknowhow.com and downloadable and reproducible tip sheets, brochures and point-of-purchase materials.
Shapiro said retailers need to join the effort to inform and educate consumers. “Our industry has a responsibility to provide helpful and accurate information to consumers,” he stated. “We urge retailers — as well as manufacturers, government agencies and other industries — to look to CEA as a resource for DTV information. At the same time, we pledge that we will continue to take the lead on a number of fronts to ensure this historic transition remains consumer friendly.”