“Plasma prices continue to free-fall as good
availability and wide acceptance of the product spur retailers
and manufacturers to maximize their sales opportunities”
The NPD Group released the May 2004 edition of the NPD Consumer Electronics
Price Watch, a monthly pricing monitor that provides a top-line look into the
average selling price of technology products being sold in the U.S.
The NPD Consumer Electronics Price Watch is based on 27 of the best selling
product categories in the consumer electronics space, which includes a
cross-section of the products people buy and is made up of a “market basket” of
the most frequently purchased electronic products, including televisions, PCs,
cameras and media players.
During the month of May, retail prices for the CE Price Watch market basket of
goods fell another 3.1 percent, the sharpest sequential drop since last
November. The overall value of the basket of 27 key electronics items now stands
at $12,362, down more than $1,000 since the start of 2004 and almost $2600 since
May 2003. Over the past year that represents a decline of 17.4 percent.
42-inch Enhanced Definition Plasma TVs, which dropped $86 from April, 32-inch
Direct View TVs, which were down $52, and portable DVD players, which fell more
than $30, led this month’s price drops. Other large dollar decliners were
15-inch notebooks, which fell $65.
“Plasma prices continue to free-fall as good availability and wide acceptance of
the product spur retailers and manufacturers to maximize their sales
opportunities,” said Stephen Baker, The NPD Group’s director of industry
analysis. “Prices are especially aggressive on the entry-level models where form
factor and design weigh more heavily on the buyers decision than brand and
feature might for a more premium buyer.”
On the upside, standard DVD players rose 11 percent from April to May and
portable CD players jumped up 9 percent, or $3, from April’s all time
non-holiday low. The most basic single-disc DVD players are becoming a shrinking
piece of the market as manufacturers increasingly focus on models with step-up
features like an integrated VCR or progressive scan.
“Pricing on portable CD players is likely to remain constant at this price
level,” Baker added. “Despite their mature status and low price, this category
has seen some trends towards falling price levels over the part three months as
selling prices have dropped below $35 for three consecutive months for the first
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