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Holiday Flat Panel Sales Up 112 Percent

Pacific Media Associates (PMA) is reporting this week that holiday sales in December 2005 of flat panel sets in North America rose 22 percent from a month earlier in November (not terribly unusual, seasonally adjusted), but also a whopping 112 percent jump compared with December 2004.

PMA's Flat Panel Display Tracking Service also notes a December revenue jump of about 17 percent compared with November, while the "average street price" fell a mere 4 percent from one month to the next. As for revenue, PMA said in published reports that compared with a year earlier, December 2005 income increased by nearly 60 percent, and the average street price over the full calendar year declined by more than 25 percent for HD, ED and SD flat screens (no specific breakouts were given).

Despite a lot of recent media publicity about an increasing amount of consumer preferences for larger screens (starting at 37-inches), PMA said a lot of sales were in the 30- to 35-inch category, with average price points falling about 8 percent through 2005, to around $1,500.

Competition between LCD and plasma screens apparently continues to be tight, with Panasonic's 42-inch XGA plasma TV (model TH-42PX50U) coming out the top-selling consumer model in December -- and the Sony 40-inch LCD (model KDL-V40XBR1) close in the runner-up slot. (Panasonic remained at the top in unit-share sales for December, while Pioneer stayed above the pack in revenue share.)

In late January, the Consumer Electronics Association reported November/December 2005 factory-to-dealer sales of "all DTV products" hit 2.3 million, marking a 35 percent jump over the same two-month time frame in 2004 (HD Notebook, Feb. 1, 2006).