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LCD and PDP displays: Price battle wages on
5/29/2005

Though prices for smaller flat screen displays could rise this year, big screen TV prices are set for a prolonged slide as a battle rages between liquid crystal and plasma display standards, Reuters reported.

Manufacturers of large sets over 40in using either LCD or PDP technology are spending aggressively on technology to make cheaper sets and draw consumers away from CRT TVs.

Consumer tech giants such as Sony and LG Electronics are sacrificing profit for market share, analysts told Reuters.

Over the past year, prices of TVs have fallen sharply. A 42in plasma HD set currently sells for around $4000, while the same size LCD costs about $5000, according to Samsung Electronics and LG. A less hi-tech 42-inch plasma set can be bought for $2000.

CRT sets account for more than 90 percent of global TV sales. As smaller LCD sets fall in price, that share will fall to 81 percent next year, Lehman Brothers predicted. But it has been a costly battle for makers.

LCD prices dropped nearly a third last year and still cost more than double the price of comparable CRT sets. Analysts say the price of a 32in LCD set should drop another 40 percent to around $1430 to grab more customers.

In the race for profitability, LCD makers said prices for some flat screen sets — particularly 17in models, which can be bought for a few hundred dollars — are set to recover in the second half of this year.

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