With LCD prices steadily on the decline, it seems odd that plasma display prices are increasing. But that's what's happening, according to IHS iSuppli, and the result is a declining share of plasma TV sales in the US.
Plasma's share of all TV types available at US retailers fell to 13.3 percent in July, down from 14.9 percent in June and from 15 percent in July 2011, the research firm said in a press release. The last time plasma accounted for such a small percentage of US television retail availability was the first quarter of 2011, when its share dipped to 11.6 percent, IHS reports. Edward Border, analyst for TV technology at IHS, said:
Despite a brief resurgence in popularity during the second half of last year, the U.S. plasma business is undoubtedly a market on the decline. While this deterioration is part of a long-term global trend, the drop in plasma sales in the U.S. in 2012 is also due to consistently elevated pricing. The decrease in sales has reduced plasma's market share, allowing LCD TVs -- plasma's traditional rivals -- to further their dominance in the overall U.S. TV space.
Plasma makers are focusing on larger screens, IHS said, and prices have climbed to an average of more than $1,600 in July. This is 1.4 percent higher than June's figure.
In the meantime, LCD prices fell in July -- part of an ongoing trend as evidenced by the difficulties faced by major LCD makers such as Japan's Sony and Sharp. Both companies reported losses in their recent fiscal quarters due in part to slow TV sales and declining LCD prices. At the start of the third quarter, prices declined for LCD TVs, which account for the majority of the flat-panel market, IHS reports. The declines applied to all types of LCDs, including 3D models, interactive and smart TV, HD sets and LED TVs. IHS adds:
Pricing drops were relatively small, reflecting no great sales or discounts, but instead were a consequence of natural erosion as stores competed with one another. More aggressive price declines occurred as the London Olympics geared up, with even more cutthroat competition to ensue among brands and retailers.
Overall, average retail pricing in July for all kinds of televisions in the American market fell to $1,171 -- down from $1,194 in June, but up from $1,149 the same time a year ago.
A few years ago, I purchased a plasma TV because I liked the picture better, and the cost was competitive. It sounds like improvements in LCD technology and a lack of ability to drive cost out of the plasma technology has forced plasma into a decreasing niche market.
I find your concern about plasma technology valid. The buzz in the market among adventurous users is about 3D LED TVs and smartphones' screens. Secondly, manufacturers have to focus on what the consumers are demanding rather than a technology that has been around for a decade now.
It has been quite a time since I have heard anyone talking about plasma. Surely, the LCD market is a dominant one. With most consumers already having decent SD TV sets in their homes and also being satisfied with the images and sounds they witness, they are only bound to buy LCDs when they find their model too old. Nowhere does plasmas come in. Increase in prices will further demotivate users.
Barbara, is there any scope for Plasma TV? Lots of innovations and R&D are going on with TV display systems. The latest offerings are LED TV, 3D LED TV and the Android based Smart TV etc. Maybe by tomorrow something else with better technology may come. When technology is moving from one to the next, the existence or survival for the old technology is difficult.
@t.alex: well, I am not so expert, but it is generally recognized that the big step forward in treating translucent signal has been achieved by adopting LED technology which is made on the basis of small polymer molecule and then doable to increase quality of running photograms; speaking for myself, I believe there will be a positive trend of the market for LED smart TV, it is in line with an adiacent market as green market is.
@t.alex, I am personally quite interested in Translucent LCD's. Translucent LCD displays are beginning to be tested by various owners using a variety of applications. These displays are etched into a clear glass. There is no backlight so the screen is transparent. So using Translucent LCD's banks/retail shops can display advertisements even on plain windows.
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.