Flat-panel sales soared in November

Unit sales for flat-panel TV and business displays in North America doubled sequentially in November in 2006, increasing an unprecedented 109%, according to Pacific Media Associates (PMA). The average selling price (ASP) of the segment fell 8% for the month, resulting in an increase of 93% in revenues over October, PMA indicated.

“PDP (plasma display panel) TVs made a strong comeback in November,” according to Rosemary Abowd, vice president of PMA. “The ASP for 42-inch PDP HD (high-definition) TVs dropped 25% in just one month. Panasonic led with very aggressive pricing, which most manufacturers met. Fierce competition among retailers during start of the holiday buying season also pushed prices down, which attracted new buyers,” Abowd pointed out.

Although sales volumes were high, orders kept pace and inventory levels only fell 4% in November. As a result of the high unit sales, the Days Supply Index fell sharply to 24 days, which is just three days less than in November 2005. According to Abowd, “We expect to see lower inventory levels by the end of December, as holiday sales draw to a close and retailers prepare for the traditionally slower sales early in the new year.”

Panasonic took top honors in the consumer segment for both units and revenue, though Sony nearly tied for revenues. The best-selling consumer model was the 42-inch Panasonic TH-42PX60U with a strong 11.4% unit share. Its ASP was US$1,327, which was a 24% drop from its October price.