It's a Flat World After All
DisplaySearch's Shulklapper spent several years prior with retailers like Circuit City. He says that when it comes to flat-panel sales, "there's a regional effect." Flat-panel sales have a "higher than normal" concentration in major urban areas, especially those with the greatest concentration of high incomes and smaller homes, he explains. The top three markets for flat panel right now are New York City, Los Angeles and south Florida (Miami), he says. "The demographics definitely skew towards higher incomes," he adds.
Greengart maintains that at the low end, there is no real correlation to income. Other factors can come into play. For example, an EDTV plasma could be an attractive solution for someone who previously would only have the option of a space-hogging (yet similarly expensive) rear-projection unit.
"Where the [living] environment is material to the buying decision, a flat panel might be only way to get a big screen into an apartment," he says. Previously, such space-constrained users would have been stuck purchasing a 27- to 34-inch CRT direct-view, for instance. Now, for some extra dough, they have enticing new options. "Instead of a 27-inch CRT, now you've got a 42-inch widescreen in your home," says Greengart. "It's a huge deal."