In the latest PriceWise report, DisplaySearch reports that large LCD television panels dropped another 1% to 2% for the wholesale price across a wide range of sizes in January. Some of the biggest movement was at the 42″ size, with the typical panel dropping from $245 to $240. A 120Hz LED edge-lit 42″ panel also dropped $5 from $335 to $330. Apparently, December sales did not measure up to expectations, so there is likely to be a backlog in inventory, especially among LED backlight models.
Note that these prices are for the bare panels, not the complete televisions. Still, with a 42″ panel costing $240 and the complete television selling for not much more than twice that amount, there is not much room for profit for the set manufacturers, distributors, and retailers. The slim profits will make the TV makers press for lower panel prices from their suppliers, and the panel manufacturers may have to lower prices in order to operate their production lines at efficient levels.
The bottom line is that you can continue to expect good deals on LCD HDTVs. You’ll find some promotions for the Super Bowl that will likely offer some good deals, but you probably won’t miss out if you wait until after the big game. Once we’re into February, the retailers don’t have much opportunity to sell lots of sets until the football season starts next fall. (There will probably be a bump in sales around the NCAA Men’s March Madness basketball tournament, but that’s about it.) So you will probably find that there are a number of HDTV sales people who will be happy to see you walk through the door in late February. You’ll probably be able to get some great deals on a 2010 model at that point.