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LCD Catchtes Up to Plasma

Pacific Media Associates (PMA) reports that in May 2005, 37-inch LCDs for the first time captured a 51-percent share of the market that includes 37- HD PDP (plasma) and 37-inch EDTV PDP products. May, apparently, was not a fluke: 37-inch LCD further increased its share a month later in June, capturing 57 percent.

PMA attributes LCD's increases in market share to a general drop in price points for 37-inch LCDs, reportedly now on a virtually equal pricing level with 37-inch HD PDPs. The average price for 37-inch LCD hit a low of $3,126 in June 2005--a sizeable 25-percent decline from March 2005 when the average street price was $4,138. The average price for 37-inch HD PDP in June 2005 was $2,963.

PMA reported that contrary to conventional wisdom, LCDs cannot support a price premium over otherwise-similar PDPs. And while LCD prices hovered above PDP prices, the market preferred plasma models. As soon as the price for LCD models matched PDP prices, LCDs captured a significant portion of the segment, PMA reported in its findings.

The Menlo Park, Calif.-based researcher already found LCD flat-screens replacing plasma in the 32-inch segment, and now are on their way to doing the same at 37 inches. This trend should make plasma manufacturers worry that the 42-inch segment is also vulnerable, according to PMA. The researcher points out that once new LCD fabrication facilities in Asia reach full capacity and can produce 42-inch glass panels less expensively and in greater quantity, the industry can expect a much bigger face-off between LCD and plasma.