It’s not a good time to be an LCD HDTV maker. Sharp is Japan’s largest LCD TV maker — and fifth largest LCD panel maker worldwide — and they’re taking it on the chin. According to a report from PriceSCAN, the average selling price for LCD HDTVs 50″ and larger fell by 6% in October alone. That’s a huge amount, especially when you consider the manufacturer’s profit margin is only 9% to 16%, so this doesn’t leave much on the table. But as bad as that sounds, PriceSCAN reports that the prices for Sharp’s portion of that 50″ and larger segment saw prices drop 12% for the month. In some years, a total price drop of 12% might not seem unusual, yet here it happened in one month.
How bad are things going for Sharp? In another story from AFP (reported on Google) indicates that Sharp is planning to cut LCD panel production. The company will join many other major manufacturers inthrottling back production. According to the story, the company will decide on the size of the reduction after they see how the holiday sales of HDTVs turn out. Presumably, they are concerned that overstocked inventories will not be reduced as much as they’d like, which means that future orders from retailers for additional sets will be lower than might have been expected.