Expect big-screen HDTV prices to drop in coming months

The upcoming holiday season will see the usual price drops on HDTVs, but it appears that the larger sets may see the biggest price movement, good news if you're looking to purchase a new TV for Christmas.For the first time in four months, prices for HDTVs fell in August, according to IHS iSuppli.

The upcoming holiday season will see the usual price drops on HDTVs, but it appears that the larger sets may see the biggest price movement, good news if you're looking to purchase a new TV for Christmas.

For the first time in four months, prices for HDTVs fell in August, according to IHS iSuppli. While that amount was negligible in aggregate -- a drop of just $5 per set -- it was more pronounced for sets ranging from 40 to 49 inches (3% decline) and 50 inches and larger (2%). Riddhi Patel, IHS director for television systems and retail services, concludes that "Larger-sized televisions have been hard to sell given the slow economy and the absence in general of a big-enough price decline to motivate consumers to buy."

The research firm cites the example of Sharp, which has been consistently been releasing larger and larger sets as a market differentiator. However, that led to few sales until the electronics company began slashing prices on its 60-inch HDTVs, resulting in enough sales to cut into rivals' 55-inch set sales.

IHS found that inventories for larger sets were "much higher" than usual, a good sign that further price cutting is on the way. Already, the average plasma sized 50 inches or larger fell in price by $80 in August.

So if you're in the market for a really big HDTV, you may just want to resist the desire for instant gratification and sit tight a little longer to ensure a better deal.

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