Plasma Versus LCD Price War Continues

Large-screen price points for both HD and SD products are geared for a prolonged slide globally as already-fierce competition heats up further between LCD (liquid crystal) and PDP (plasma), according to Reuters. Makers of large screens of 42-inch and up are spending aggressively on technology to make cheaper sets and draw consumers away from traditional, noticeably bulkier, cathode sets (see Hitachi item in this edition). Reuters quotes analysts as saying that Sony and LG Electronics, among others, are currently sacrificing profit for market share.

Over the past year, price points for both PDP and LCD flat-screen technologies have fallen sharply, especially in Asia. A 42-inch plasma set capable of HD quality currently sells for around $4,000, while a 42-inch LCD costs about $5,000. (An SD 42-inch plasma flat-screen sells for roughly half as much as an HD plasma, or about $2,000.) Some Wall Street market analysts predict LCD makers will need to add new-generation lines faster than originally planned to meet aggressive pricing by plasma.

Standard cathode-ray sets still account for more than 90 percent of the global market, although Lehman Brothers predicts that overall share will begin to decline noticeably, perhaps declining to 81-inch a year from now.