A story posted yesterday on TWICE (www.twice.com) provides more detail about Wal-Mart’s expansion into the HDTV market. According to the report, Wal-Mart is boosting its inventory from 10 to 11 brands by adding Vizio. In April, they had 28 models, but that swelled to 36 models in May, half of which were the four new Vizio models: VW26L, VW32L, VW37L, and VW42L.
Wal-Mart is serious about its HDTV play, and will be pitching their products to a larger group of consumers who are more price sensitive than the early adopters who have been shopping at the specialty consumer electronics stores. Knowing Wal-Mart’s history of aggressive marketing, you can expect them to work to keep prices down. While the surplus of LCD HDTV panels seems to have dwindled, lower prices for large plasma HDTVs and Wal-Mart’s expanded role in the market are likely to result in lower prices this summer, and possibly into the fall.