I notice that the makers of flat panel TV's are revising their pricing to increase the cost of their TV's. In recent years, I saw all kinds of offers for 42" LCD models, 1080p HD, for about $800. I even saw one for $700. I've been waiting for prices to keep coming down to a point where I would buy one (looking at spending maybe $500-$550 for at least 40"-42"). I was close a couple of months ago -- saw a 40" for $490 (off brand, so I didn't bite). But now, I don't see those lower prices much, except for the 32" or 720p sets. Even the discount websites are listing 42" for $900 or more . . saw a 46" set this week for $1400! (These are for LCD, not the more expensive LED sets. I've seen larger sets (50" - 65") for that $1400-1500 price, but I don't want to pay that much for a TV).
Now, I am aware of certain improvements they have made in the new sets. Among those, some are 120 Mhz rather than 60 Mhz sets, which is supposed to mean a better picture due to it being refreshed more often. There are some that are 240 Mhz sets, which usually cost $2,000 or more. They make a big deal out of that, as well as the LED sets that are said to last considerably longer (and the cost reflects that).
Still, it seems to me that manufacturers are trying to avoid what should be the inevitable decline of TV set prices. They tweak a few things and add hundreds to the cost. Since my old 32" picture tube set went out a few months ago, we have been watching an old 20" set and feel a bit deprived. I was hoping to make the jump to flat panel . . and then these price increases hit. Given the on-going recession, this seems like bad timing for them to INCREASE prices. Also, as the techies and others who dive into new technology early already have flat panel sets, you'd think sales would have calmed and the manufacturers would now be trying to appeal to people like me, who wait to move to the next thing, to sell us with low prices (or, maybe they will first try to sell the techies on the 120-240 Mhz sets and or LED before going after the reticent?)
Anyway, it is dismaying to me right now to see the increases.
P.S. A co-worker brought his I-Pad in to show it off -- he smiled as he said, "Paid $1,000 for it." What?? What is with these people that pay exorbitant prices for new gadgets? Don't they have anything better to do with their money? They sure make it tough on bargain hunters like me.
I'm no authority on TV marketing Bob but I've read that for a time the price cutting had reached a point that many companies were losing money and a couple have actually left the TV business. And now Chinese workers are beginning to grumble about their low wages and this is expected to spread throughout the third world and eventually be the end to dirt-cheap labor. We saw this happen in Japan. In the 1950s. Japanese electronics was dirt cheap because of low wages but by the 1970s Japanese electronics were nearly as expensive as domestic electronics. Then they began losing market to Malaysia and other third-world countries so the cycle repeats- cheap labor builds an industry- then labor costs go up and it's not so cheap anymore. But if it's any consolation, factoring in inflation and performance, today's TVs are still a real bargain compared to what our parents bought.
As for I-Pads, Iphones and other $1000 toys- I agree with you- I would be extremely nervous carrying around something so costly that could be lost, stolen or broken so easily.