SAN FRANCISCO: Prices for LCD televisions will fall about 20% this year, less than last year, as Sony Corp. takes a bigger piece of the market, said Stan Glasgow, president of the company’s US electronics unit.
“There’s going to be less price erosion this year than last year, but not by much,” Glasgow said on 27 February. “Prices fell 25% to 30% in 2006,” he added.
Sony, the world’s second-largest consumer electronics maker, overtook Sharp Corp. to become the biggest maker of LCD televisions in 2006, according to market researcher NPD Group Inc. The company has had to overcome growing competition in sales of the devices, which are replacing conventional TVs. There are now as many as 80 companies selling LCD sets, Glasgow said.
“We were a little late getting started in flat television,” he said. “But we were eminently successful.” Shares of Tokyo based Sony rose 40 yen, or less than 1%, to 6,390 yen on 27 February on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. They have risen 25% this year.
Some competitors have pushed prices for LCD televisions so low that their behaviour “borders on being irresponsible,” Glasgow said. He declined to name specific companies.
“They have price points that are damaging to the industry,” he said. “When you have a retailer lose money based on television pricing, someone pushed the envelope too far.”
Sony is trying to boost sales with new home-entertainment devices such as the PlayStation 3 games console, high-definition DVD players and televisions with Internet connections. Prices for Blu-Ray DVD players also are falling, Glasgow said. He expects them to sell for $499 to $599 (Rs22,045) this year.
As the maker of the original Walkman, Sony also will “do some more things” to counter Apple Inc.’s iPod digital music player, Glasgow said. He declined to comment on any new products.
“That game is not 100% over yet,” Glasgow said. “We hope to be more of a part of personal audio again.”