LCD Flat Panels Prices Drop

Pacific Media Associates reports that in July the average street price for 40-inch to 44-inch LCD flat panel televisions and business displays in North America dropped below those for high-definition plasma displays for the first time in the history of the company's "Flat Panel Display Tracking Service."

Not long ago, this size range was seen as being owned by plasma, because LCD models cost much more. Now that LCDs cost less on average, their share of sales is growing rapidly. In July, LCDs in this size gained four share points to reach a 46 percent unit market share. This trend is likely to continue, pushing plasma's dominant range up into the larger sizes of 50-inch and above.

"We've seen this repeatedly in the past," according to Rosemary Abowd, Vice President with Pacific Media Associates. "When the price of LCDs match or drop below the prices for plasma HDTVs of the same size, LCDs win. We expect that LCDs will account for the majority of unit sales in the 40-inch to 44-inch range soon."

Across all flat panels 30-inch or larger, LCDs gained another three share points for a 57 percent unit market share.

Unit sales for flat panels were down 10 percent in July over the previous month, which is similar to the summer slowdown seen in prior years. Unit sales were still up 67 percent over July 2005. Sales are expected to increase again as the football season and holiday buying season arrive.

Competition for the top spot in unit sales is very tight; Sony's 20.3 percent share was just one percentage point ahead of second place Panasonic, and Samsung was a close third. The Pioneer PRO-1130HD 50-inch plasma HDTV remained in first place on the best-seller list for the second month in a row. For more information please visit www.pacificmediaassociates.com.