HDTV News for 2007: Lower Prices
LAS VEGAS - How much cheaper can HDTVs get? Not everybody wants to throw out predictions -- after all, no one wants to risk sending a signal to consumers that they should put away their credit cards until fall? But a couple of executives ventured some numbers.
Panasonic's Masaru Kono, president and chief operating officer of the the company's consumer division, estimated that prices for 42-inch plasma sets would drop "15 to 20 percent within 12 months" from their current levels.
Boo-Keun Yoon, Samsung's senior vice president for TV research and development, got even more specific. Speaking through an interpreter, he predicted that the 40-inch. LCD that sells for $1,799 today "may go down to $1,299 or $1,399" by the end of the year. Yoon suggested that at smaller screen sizes -- 32 inches, for instance -- prices couldn't drop much further, as "the profitability of these panels are almost close to the bottom." And 40-inch LCDs might reach that stage sometime this year.
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