Port Washington, N.Y. - Sales of smaller-screen TVs to consumers slowed in June as shoppers hesitated while exploring bigger-screen models with more advanced feature sets, according a study released by
Sales of 19-inch to 37-inch flat-panel TVs in the U.S. dropped 21 percent year over year in June, according to NPD's retail tracking service.
The screen sizes that took the biggest hits were 19 and 26 inches, which registered declines of 49 percent and 38 percent, respectively.
In part, the declines were attributed to higher than normal sales last year due to the analog-TV cutoff deadline. Still, the slower activity comes at a time when economic conditions were generally better than a year ago.
"As the analog cutoff approached, many less-affluent consumers flocked to purchase inexpensive smaller digital TVs to receive digital broadcasts. This drove strong growth in the sub-32-inch segment that the industry has not been able to maintain," said Ross Rubin, NPD industry analysis executive director. "The scales have now tipped in favor of larger-screen TVs as prices continue to drop and consumer interest turns to connected televisions, LED backlighting, and 3D -- features that are more likely to be prominent in larger sets."
Sales of flat-panel TVs 40 to 65 inches grew 26 percent in June compared with the prior year. Some of the strongest growth came from the larger screen sizes as consumers traded up. The 55-, 60-, 63- and 65-inch flat panels all experienced triple-digit growth, NPD said.
But large declines in average prices also helped boost sales of the 42-, 46-, 50- and 58-inch flat-panel TV screen sizes.