July 31, 2012 — Average retail pricing for U.S. flat-panel televisions rose to the highest level in 2.5 years during Q2, thanks to advanced features and larger displays in a growing proportion of TV sets, according to IHS (NYSE:IHS).
Pricing for U.S. flat-panel televisions hit $1,224 in Q2, up 3% from $1,190 in Q1, and up 9% year-over-year (Y/Y). This is a peak price point for the US since the start of 2010, 10 quarters ago.
Advanced and cost-premium features include 3D display, integrated interactivity and Web 2.0 or “smart” features, and light-emitting diode (LED) backlights in LCDs, explained Edward Border, analyst for TV technology at IHS. Aiding in the pricing increase, 3D displays’ share of the TV market grew to 30.9 from 27.8% sequentially. A similar increase occurred for Smart TVs, growing to 44.3% from 40.9%; and for LED-backlit LCD sets, rising to 63.5% from 59.2%.
The US market is dominated by liquid crystal display (LCD) TVs, along with a small plasma segment. Average pricing in the second quarter for plasma displays as a whole reached $1,628, while that for LCD TVs amounted to $1,120 during the same period.
Some large-sized displays in both LCDs and plasmas increased their share in Q2. The 46” LCD’s share in retail rose to 12.2% from 11.8% sequentially, and share for 60” LCDs increased to 5.2% from 4.2%. Note that pricing in June for the 42” LCD TV category plunged to an all-time low of $761, down from $807 in May, after two consecutive months of price hikes. Within the LCD TV space, the majority of the smaller, below-42-inch screen sizes saw their average retail price increase, as features including Full HD, LED and Internet connectivity became more widespread in 2012 models.
Large-sized plasma sets saw an even greater expansion, with 50” rising to 23.8% from 21.2%, 60” increasing to 23.6% from 18.6%, and 65” growing to 6.9% from 6.1% of the market in Q1. For plasma sets in the 42” and 65” categories, prices fell in Q2.
The 32” TV sector was the only area to see a decline, with average set prices at $435, down from $495 in Q1.
Also read: Flat-panel TV market: Bigger is better
In the Smart TV sector, average pricing in June fell to $1,907 from $2,015 in May, but it was up significantly compared to $1,724 in June last year. From a pricing perspective then, the Smart TV can be considered a major technological success so far this year, appealing to consumers with its dynamic mix of interactive features, easy integration with set-top boxes, emphasis on online streaming capabilities and access to over-the-top cable content.
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