It's a Flat World After All
Low-end pricing is driving this trend. Research firm The NPD Group, in its May 2004 edition of its NPD Consumer Electronics Price Watch, a monthly pricing monitor that determines the average U.S. selling price of technology products, found 42-inch EDTV plasmas dropped $86 from April, leading the month's price drops.
"Plasma prices continue to free-fall as good availability and wide acceptance of the product spur retailers and manufacturers to maximize their sales opportunities," says 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 buyer's decision than brand and feature might for a more premium buyer."
While retail pricing for these panels is steadily decreasing, the number of players, both secondary and premium brands, in 42-inch EDTV plasma is steadily increasing. Less than two years after Gateway stunned the market with its $2,999 42-inch EDTV plasma, similar products are now selling for as low as $1,999. And prices haven't bottomed out by a long shot.