IHS: 3D Lifted June Flat-Panel TV Prices

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El Segundo, Calif. - For the third month in a row, U.S. pricing for flat-panel televisions increased in June, fueled by the increasing availability of high-priced active 3D liquid crystal display (LCD) TVs, according to an IHS iSuppli report.

The study, entitled

"Pricing Gap Continues between Active vs. Passive 3-D LCD TVs,"

shows average pricing in June for flat-panel TVs reached $1,133, up $10 or 0.9 percent from $1,123 in May.

Overall average prices for LCD TVs increased $5 to $1,050, while those for plasma stabilized last month at $1,590, IHS said.

The price uptick marked the third consecutive month of increases since April, following four straight months of declines.

 "The biggest pricing increases for flat-panel televisions last month were among the new 3D models employing active shutter glasses, the most popular type of three-dimensional set on the market today," stated Riddhi Patel, IHS television systems and retail services director. "There is an increasing number of models with 3D capability in the product mix that have higher than average prices. These sets drove price increases for the entire flat-panel television market in the United States in June."

The price gap between active-shutter and passive-glass-based 3D LCD televisions became more apparent in June as the premium for active sets compared to passive grew to 9 percent for the 40- to 49-inch range, and to 14 percent for 50-inch sizes; the price difference in May for the two size groups against their passive 3D counterparts was 7 percent, IHS said.

The widening price gap between active and passive 3D LCD sets was also due to a drop in pricing for passive 3D sets, falling 3 percent in the 40- to 49-inch range and sliding 8 percent in the 50-inch-and-larger group.

IHS predicts the U.S. 3D market is expected in the future to favor passive models in place of the now-dominant active shutter technology, given the steadily declining price of passive models and the greater affordability of the accompanying 3D glasses required for viewing.

Meanwhile, LCD televisions featuring the advanced light-emitting diode (LED) backlight technology saw pricing fall in every size category between 1 an 5 percent in June.

The biggest declines occurred in the 20-inch-and-smaller group as well as in the 30- to 39-inch range, IHS said.

For the popular 32-inch LED size, pricing fell 7 percent from May and retreated 23 percent compared to June 2010.

U.S. LED shipments this year for the 30- to 34-inch range are expected to jump 96 percent, IHS said.

Internet-enabled LCD TVs appeared in smaller-sized TVs while at the same time continuing to compete with the medium- and larger-sized TV market.

Pricing rose 2 percent in the 21- to 29-inch group for Internet-enabled TVs - considered a premium feature in this size range - but fell 4 percent in the 30- to 39-inch segment.

Plasma sets, older model close outs and new-model introductions helped keep June prices in equilibrium, IHS said.

The 50-inch-and-larger group saw a price decline of 1 percent, but pricing rose 3 percent in the 40- to 49-inch category.

Overall for June, many premium features saw price declines.

IHS said that in the mature U.S. TV market, brands will need to keep offering attractive prices for advanced features like full high definition, LED, Internet-enabled capabilities and 3D in order to continue moving forward.

"This is especially true as the country continues to grapple with the effects of a weak housing market, high unemployment and elevated gas prices," IHS said.


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