Sales Analyst Cautious on Holiday Season

Despite some rosy general forecasts coming out of the recent CEA Industry Forum in San Francisco (HD Notebook, Oct. 18 and Oct. 25, 2006), analysts are not predicting a particularly upbeat CE holiday selling season, which starts later this month.

While HD monitors, overall, are expected to continue to enjoy generally good sales as prices continue to fall, analyst iSuppli points to something big that likely will be lacking this season--a single CE product that normally would spur healthier overall electronics sales.

One of the key factors iSuppli cites for its expected less than jubilant holiday sales forecast is the current HD DVD/Blu-ray Disc format war, which is causing uncertainty (and therefore, very little enthusiasm) in a product zone that normally may have generated a lot of interest. In fact, the analyst said, next-gen DVD should have been the hot ticket of the season.

The iSuppli report said many of this year's "wannabe hot products are designed to build on the very strong sales growth for [DTVs] that support [HD] video. Chief among those products are next-generation HD-video DVD players, which should have been this year's hit holiday product. Instead, the battle between the HD-DVD and Blu-ray standards for next-generation DVD is resulting in much slower growth."

iSuppli predicts that consumers will wait it out at least another year before committing, assuming the DVD picture is somewhat less murky.