Price erosion the only downside to World Cup TV sales

By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY, NSW: GfK sales data for the period leading up to the start of Australia’s World Cup campaign reveal three key trends in the flat panel TV market: LCD is only slightly more popular than plasma, Full HD is not totally pervasive and average sales prices have dropped significantly.

In figures released to the media last night, GfK reported that 140,000 large screen flat panel TVs were sold between the first week of May 2010 through to 14 June 2010. In this instance, ‘large screen’ refers to models that are 40 inches or bigger.

Although the general perception is that consumers are continuously moving over to LCD technology as their preferred panel choice, plasma sales remain buoyant, with 48 per cent of these TVs sold being plasma models. This would reinforce Panasonic’s view that for larger sized screens, plasma is best.

Interestingly, GfK further reported that a quarter of TV sales in this period were of non-Full HD models. Although the major suppliers are restricting their release of HD TVs to the smaller sizes, 25 per cent of consumers are still choosing to buy the older technology when purchasing large sizes.

This would imply that the Tier 2 and Tier 3 suppliers received a decent amount of the spending during this period, a point which is backed up by GfK reporting a 33 per cent drop in average sales price: down to $1,400 per panel from $2,100 for the same period last year.

Talking about this release is GfK Australia analyst Neville Ray.

“Consumers in the market for big screen TVs were spoilt for choice and reaped the benefits of heavy promotional activity with, for example, game consoles, home theatre systems and Blu-ray player package deals on offer,” Ray said.

“For retailers, consumer demand was welcome in the current climate with competitive pricing key to driving sales. For example, the average price of televisions 40 inches and above in May 2009 was approximately $2,100, whereas in May 2010 it was $1,400: a wallet-saving $700 difference.

“3D is the technology on everybody’s lips and while it is a long way from making its mark in this category, it’s certainly got the interest of some early adopters. It will be interesting to keep an eye on the take-up it benefits from between now and other upcoming major sporting events.”

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