A Year In Review
That shift had “interesting ramifications,” Young said, because it opened the way for Costco and Wal-Mart to take 720p market share at much lower price points, as consumers were not yet willing to opt into the higher 1080p price points. The shift of 720s into Wal-mart and Costco enabled Vizio to emerge as the number one LCD brand in the second quarter and number two in the third quarter, Young said.
As 1080p gets close to the $999 “sweet spot” for a 42-inch TV, Young thinks national chains like Best Buy and Circuit City can take some share back. Meanwhile, he said, the regional players continue to lose share to the big boys, pointing to Tweeter’s struggles as an example.
CEA estimates that about 14 million flat panel TVs will sell as gifts during the fourth-quarter, DuBravac said. The problem for retailers is that prices continue to fall. Whereas a 42-inch 1080p LCD panel retailed for about $2,209 in Q4 2006, DisplaySearch estimates that price will drop 32 percent to $1,492 in Q4 2007, and by an additional 17 percent to $1,234 by fourth-quarter 2008. Young expected a similar trajectory for 42-inch 1080p plasma, which he pegged at $1,486 this quarter.