August 20, 2005


Falling Costs of Big-Screen TV's to Keep Falling (DAMON DARLIN, 8/20/05, NY Times)

In consumer electronics, as in much of life, good things happen to those who wait - good things as in plunging prices.

The cost of big-screen televisions, which have been steadily dropping by about 25 percent a year, are now expected to fall even more sharply this autumn, according to industry analysts. The coming markdowns reflect a singular confluence of business trends that will benefit consumers going into the holiday season.

"Prices are pretty much in a free fall," said David Naranjo, who tracks the television industry for DisplaySearch, a market research firm.

The best evidence of this is the expectation of analysts that in the next few weeks the Panasonic unit of the Matsushita Electric Industrial Company will announce that it is dropping prices as much as $500 on plasma-screen TV's that retail for around $3,500.

Panasonic officials refused this week to confirm or deny the speculation, but because it sells the most plasma screens in the United States, a potential downward adjustment would be considered a harbinger of a price war for all varieties of big-screen TV's.

Imagine if anyone could pass on oil prices....

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 20, 2005 6:36 PM

We might as well be bedazzled by enormous TV screens bringing the world to us since we can't afford to gas up and go out to meet it.

BTW- a blowsy matron was cussing rather loudly at the gas pump today. It was one of those mega pump places, and the other dozen or more motorists were studiously ignoring her. I don't think she got the reaction she expected from her outburst.

Posted by: erp at August 20, 2005 6:49 PM

I'm in cargo hauling - trucking - and I pass on my fuel costs.
Business is booming in the transportation industry.

Ironically, because I charge a set percentage surcharge on normal freight rates, but fuel prices fluctuate, so far this year I'm paying LESS for fuel than I did last year, net.

I'm told that Southwest Airlines is successfully dealing with higher fuel prices, as well.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at August 20, 2005 6:52 PM

My mother bought a Tandy computer from Radio Shack in, like, 1982, paying the equivalent of today's $ 3,000.

That was one SWEET machine, what with its 8 bit processor and cassette tape data storage.

Dell is now offering trailing-edge desktops for $ 300, including a free printer.

Supercomputing power is now within the practical reach of middle class individuals, assuming that anyone wants to control Mars landers or predict next year's weather from their rec room.


Posted by: Michael Herdegen at August 20, 2005 7:38 PM

Have you checked the price of rhino horn or shark fin lately?

Posted by: Ignacius Dalrymple at August 20, 2005 8:12 PM

Caught a shark for free last week.

Posted by: oj at August 20, 2005 8:50 PM

I am waiting for a 42" DLP in 1080p for less than $1,000. I don't think there are any out there yet, It will be a couple years yet.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at August 20, 2005 9:24 PM

To justify buying a big screen TV this year, you
have to watch enough TV in the next year to be
worth the price drop.

The NCAA to the rescue, with their stupid
No-Indian-nicknames-in-the-postseason rule.
Watching what FSU does will be worth it by itself.
If we get to see pencil-neck NCAA lawyers chasing
the guy on the horse with the spear, bonus time.

Posted by: Bob Hawkins at August 21, 2005 10:59 AM

I won't buy a plasma TV until it drops to $250. And comes with a built in DVR.

Posted by: Robert Duquette at August 21, 2005 12:40 PM

Make it legal to set up rhino and elephant ranches, and the price of rhino horn and ivory will plumet too.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at August 21, 2005 1:54 PM

Robert Duquette:

You're going to wait until 2011 ?

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at August 21, 2005 4:45 PM