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Australia: HD Sales Vanquish SD’s for Olympics

Australian retailer Gerry Harvey has pretty much had it with SD, and so has a big percentage of his customers, he said, judging from what he says it’s a clear surge for HD sets down under just prior to (and during) the Olympics, compared to a nearly absent desire for any of the less expensive SD units.

According to Harvey, thousands of HD sets have moved from his chain’s shelves to living rooms across the Aussie continent, especially when broadcasters and retailers publicized the fact that unlike in Athens four years ago, the Beijing games would be aired almost entirely in HD from start to finish.

“It's almost not worth putting standard definition televisions on the floor. Even at [lower prices], people are just not interested,” Harvey told Australian IT online. Various surveys have indicated that HD sales globally were about 30 percent higher in June (about a month prior to the Olympics) than in June 2007. HD sales (vs. SD) accounted for about 85 percent of all flat-panel TV transactions.

One analyst, GFK, said the 32-inch LCD screens were the most popular with Australian consumers, accounting for 22 percent of all TV sales. Harvey credits the HD Olympics as a more important factor this summer in selling HD sets than the steadily declining price points.