A survey conducted by research group IHS iSuppli painted a grim picture for U.S. TV sales in 2011. Riddhi Pattel, director of television systems and retail services at IHS, cited the economy’s “continuing gloom” as a major cause for an expected downturn – one which could spread into next year.
Statistics culled from the survey, which included 45,000 respondents, revealed an astounding 83 percent who were unwilling – or unable – to buy a new TV over the next year. 13 percent said they planned to pick up a new set in the same time frame, but admitted they hadn’t purchased a TV this year. IHS declared the former figure a dubious record-setter. However, a similar study from earlier this year was no slouch: 66 percent in the first quarter said they had no plans to buy a TV in 2011.
Pattel believes Americans are drawing a line in the sand – and for good reason.
“The findings suggest a growing willingness among U.S. consumers to suspend – if not totally abandon – their ongoing love affair with the television, the primary entertainment device for many American households,” he said. “A sort of wait-and-see attitude has taken hold – whether it is waiting for the economy to improve, or for television prices to fall some more, or for the arrival of better deals that combine both reduced prices and high-end TV features.”
The analyst detailed exactly what buyers consider when they actually do walk into an electronics store. Surprisingly, brand name doesn’t matter so much anymore. Size, picture quality and price are much more important he explained. However, it’s worth noting that a product’s manufacturer typically affects its price tag.
The research group found that LCD TVs indeed perform the best at retail. 86 percent of U.S. consumers who purchased a TV in recent months bought one, while LED sets jumped a few points to 30 percent.
Internet connectivity, though rated poorly by respondents as a sales motivator, is enjoying a boom according to IHS. 66 percent of consumers with web-connected TVs use them to browse Netflix it stated.
A study into Internet-ready sets’ future prospects by rival analysts at DisplaySearch in April found that the technology will be present in 123 million TVs by 2014. Surprisingly, the firm believes Latin American and Eastern European countries will lead the adoption charge. Considering how the prolonged economic problems in the U.S. are affecting spending habits, that seems likely.
Have economic worries pushed you to put off buying a new TV? When was your last TV purchase? Let us know in the comment section.