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NPD Says Nov. CE Prices Were Down

Port Washington, N.Y. — The average selling price of technology products declined during the month of November, due in large part to Black Friday promotions, which pushed prices down 18 percent for the month when compared to November 2003, according to the latest NPD consumer electronics price watch, a monthly pricing monitor from The NPD Group.

Black Friday price cuts in November led a number of products to hit all-time monthly pricing lows. Nine different products fell 10 percent or more from their October pricing levels.

Among the most prominent declines were notebook PCs with 15-inch screens, which fell 21 percent to $850; 3-megapixel digital still cameras dropped to $157, off more than 18 percent; 128MB of digital memory fell below $30, a drop of over 50 percent in only three months; and portable DVD players fell below $200 on average for the first time to $181, 17 percent below October levels.

“November 2004 was an excellent time to purchase highly desirable tech products at historically low prices,” said Stephen Baker, industry analysis director for The NPD Group. “Historically, November is the month when manufacturers and retailers vie for consumer dollars, simply to generate the most revenue at the start of the holiday buying season.In addition to generating revenue, these price cuts are also an excellent way to jumpstart demand for a particular product.”

November 2004, which saw a saw percent drop in prices when compared to October 2004, also saw LCD and plasma categories hitting historic pricing lows. Seventeen-inch LCD monitor prices fell from $413 in October to $368 in November, and the price of a 20-inch LCD TV went from $799 to $724. The price of a 42-inch plasma TV fell from $2,456 to $2,315 between October and November.

“Pricing levels in November are often misleading,” Baker added. “While these prices represent tremendous values, they were mostly one-time opportunities and, as such, are unlikely to represent trends that will carry over into December pricing. However, they are good indicators as to which items will be under price pressure in December. Products chosen for promotional pricing activity like this are likely to see a continuation of that activity in December, although at more sustainable levels.”