Small TVs got a boost last June when the government mandate to switch to digital broadcasting took effect, but a year later, amidst a stronger economy, sales of smaller TVs have slowed as consumers are exploring bigger screens and advanced features, according to leading market research company The NPD Group.
Sales of 19" to 37" flat-panel TVs in the U.S. were down 21% year-over-year in June according to NPD's Retail Tracking Service. The screen sizes that took the biggest hits were 19" and 26" showing 49% and 38% declines, respectively.
"As the analog cutoff approached, many less affluent consumers flocked to purchase inexpensive smaller digital TVs to receive digital broadcasts. This drove strong growth in the sub-32" segment that the industry has not been able to maintain," said Ross Rubin, executive director of industry analysis NPD. "The scales have now tipped in favor of larger screen TVs as prices continue to drop and consumer interest turns to connected televisions, LED backlighting, and 3D — features that are more likely to be prominent in larger sets."
Sales of flat-panel TVs 40" to 65" grew 26% in June compared to the prior year. Some of the strongest growth came from the larger screen sizes as consumers traded up. The 55", 60", 63", and 65" flat-panels all experienced triple digit growth. But large declines in average prices also helped boost sales of 42", 46", 50", and 58" flat-panel TVs.[Source: Retail Tracking Service. The NPD Group. 18 Aug. 2010. Web. 25 Aug. 2010.]