HD Price Rise Questioned in Weak Economy

According to new data just released by the Retrevo Pulse index, which gauges CE and other products in the U.S. marketplace, average price points for HD sets and related products rose too much in the first four months of this year, and therefore turned off potential buyers struggling in a sick economic climate.

Retrevo said the HD price increases (there were certainly decreases, too) were generally in response to a demand for HD goods that was lower than several manufacturers (and subsequent shipment orders) had anticipated. This period does not include the 2008 holiday sales season.

The company's index www.retrevo.com found the ASP (average selling price) for HD television units included in the index climbed as much as 30 percent between January and April, which was disproportionate to other CE products, despite falling demand at the time.

"It is typically not a good strategy to increase prices at a time when consumers are hunkering down and trying to save money," Retrevo said in a statement. "Reduced advertising on the part of brands and retailers, as well as some seasonality, has likely also contributed to weak demand. The good news for consumers is that our April data revealed that HDTV prices have leveled off and might even be heading back down."

Retrevo says it compiles its CE consumer data by "analyzing over 40 different electronics categories, hundreds of thousands of products, millions of facts and millions of user and expert reviews from thousands of publisher sites, user reviews, blogs, forums and more." The service said it's built on advanced AI technology (artificial intelligence) that uses "automated multivariate Bayesian decision theory and supervised machine-learning to insure information is always relevant, objective and impartial."

Easy for them to say.