Research and Markets conducts an annual survey about what people plan to buy in the way of consumer electronics for the upcoming holiday season. In the 2006 survey, digital cameras topped the wish lists of the respondents, with HDTVs coming in second. This year, HDTVs have risen to the top spot.
The company’s press release announcing this year’s report makes no mention of how much people are planning to spend, which is a critical piece of information. It makes no difference how much people want an HDTV if they’re feeling hemmed in by the credit crunch and financial uncertainty to open their wallets. However, the fact that prices continue to fall make it likely that more people will be drawn into the HDTV market. This is good news, because the factories are churning out lots of product and these boxes are going to need to find homes this winter.
I continue to be concerned that the buyers will not materialize in the numbers that the manufacturers and retailers anticipate, which means that they may not move as much product initially as they might hope. As the buying season progresses, pressures will mount to lower prices further in order to entice more customers to buy.
As a result, if I were in the market for a new HDTV (and aren’t we all?), I would plan to wait at least until Black Friday. If the manufacturers and retailers are right, you won’t have to pay any more than you would now, but if my prediction about slow sales is right, somebody is going to blink and you could see some serious price cuts at the last minute.