TV Prices Expected to Plunge This Holiday Season
On Friday, Sony announced that it had abandoned all hope of turning a profit this year, while Panasonic predicted that its TV prices will drop even further during this fiscal quarter. The announcements come on the heels of similarly pessimistic outlooks from LG Electronics and Samsung, and reflect an ongoing, industry-wide struggle with uniquely harsh economic times. According to Bloomberg, television prices could drop by as much as 25-percent in 2010, thanks in large part to a stronger yen, and the unexpectedly tepid consumer response to 3-D sets.
At the beginning of the year, manufacturers were expecting expensive LED screens and 3-D sets to keep prices relatively stable. As it turns out, though, U.S. consumers haven't responded very enthusiastically, and aren't willing to pay more for higher-quality displays. Now, major companies are simply looking to cut their losses -- and, of course, their prices. "There's going to be a price war this Christmas season, and there's no way around that,'' says Tsutomu Yamada, a market analyst in Tokyo. "The whole strategy this year is 'sell earlier and sell for less.' That makes life miserable for the manufacturers.'' Bad for them, great for us.