Like the idea of 55-inch LED TV at close to S$1K? Or 42-inch 3D LED TV for less than S$500? Well, it is coming…
Flat screen TV sets are dropping in price, as we all could see during the X'mas and Lunar New Year sales around the region. However, the interesting surprise awaited me when I checked the pricing of those new-generation TV's from the actual manufacturers in Shenzhen, and visited a few sites.
Few key trends – first, the price of 42 inch LED backlight TV sets, including those with 120/240 Hz refresh and 3-D stereoscopic capability, has now dropped so close to the 32-inch TV set level that, unless you really have no space at home for one, it makes no sense to choose 32-inch over 42-inch. The prices manufacturers quote for 100 plus units now, for a 42-inch FullHD LED TV, are less than US$ 300, and just another 20 – 40 bucks more if you want 3-D. In fact, one vendor quoted just US$ 259 for a non-3D FullHD LED 42-inch set. Once you could the export and GST, plus extra sample charge, you could have one at your home for some S$ 500, I guess – and I'm talking of good quality panels with zero dead pixels (including Shenzhen's own 8.5G panel factory now on line), and reasonably thin casing margins around the panel, meaning not a too bulky TV.
Then, even more interestingly, the very large panels – up to 55 inch – got progressively cheaper, and with them the prices of large 50-inch and 55-inch sets. Now, you can get a 55-inch FullHD LED TV, non 3-D, for around US$ 780 if buying, say, 20 units. Add 3-D functionality, again, for a few bucks. If you add the sample charges and taxes, it's still less than S$ 1,200 – just figure out the way to carry it here, of course.
The point is, good quality large LED TVs are cheaper than ever, and the choice, across different price classes, is wider than ever. Even in China, there's stratification of vendors now, with some like TCL and Changhong going upper-class and fighting in features against the likes of Samsung and Sharp in some cases, and the rest keeping the more budget profile. The competition for both the internal and global market is pressing all those vendors to produce high quality goods, though – shoddy wares are not an option anymore, if the business is to survive.