3D TV To Drive Bundling in Q4

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Although manufacturers have effectively stayed clear of price slashing on the young 3DTV category this year, analysts said slower than expected adoption levels should encourage new promotional activities around the holidays.

Paul Gagnon, DisplaySearch North American TV research director, said he is expecting both discounting and bundling to spark interest for the holidays.

“3D TV sales have been lackluster so far this year, as most are aware,” observed Gagnon. “The sales seem pretty strongly tied to bundling of glasses/3D Blu-ray players and movies. So, I really expect 3D TV sales during the holiday to be strongly tied to bundle promotions, especially for exclusive movie releases like ‘Avatar’ with Panasonic.”

Similarly, Tamaryn Pratt, Quixel Research principal, said, “We know from our research that glasses are perceived as valuable for consumers today and we expect manufacturers will increase the number of glasses included in their bundles.”

She noted, “We’re expecting October price movement the entry 46-inch 3D models as well as more price cuts throughout Q4,” Pratt continued. “In the past four to six quarters, only about 4 to 5 percent of LCD TV sales were done above $2,000, so manufacturers must reduce 3D TV prices in this economy.”

Riddhi Patel, iSuppli television systems principal analyst, said the season is shaping up to see a spate of 3D bundled promos.

“These will include glasses, Blu-ray Disc players and a movie/game or two as part of a big bundle,” she said. “Check out Costco — there are some nice 3D bundles from Samsung and Panasonic” there already.

As for sales expectations for 3D TVs over the holidays, Quixel’s Pratt said, “3D 720p plasma [such as the 50-inch plasma set introduced by Samsung late in the year] has the potential to have an impact in Q4 but the question is whether a $50 to $100 step is too much for the price conscious consumer. An LCD TV 3D entry in a new class of product would also propel the overall 3D segment.”

One source told TWICE that going into the holiday sales period Samsung’s 720p plasma set was not selling as briskly as some had expected.

Meanwhile, the heavy concentration on launching the first of the new 3DTV sets this year took much of the spotlight away from Internet Protocol TVs (or so-called connected TVs), which could play a bigger role around the holidays.

“Since 3D sets were at the high end of model lineups, and were often bundled with other features like LED and IPTV, consumers kind of tuned out these premium featured sets,” noted Gagnon. “Given [recent] comments by Brian Dunn about a connected holiday, I expect to see a stronger focus on Internet connected TV products during the holiday season this year.”


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