Are the days of plasma displays numbered? According to IHS iSuppli's U.S. TV Price & Specifications Market Tracker report, sales of plasma televisions in the States have dipped to their lowest level since the first quarter of 2011. Plasma sales only managed to grab 13.3 percent of the market last July, down from 14.9 percent compared to the previous month. However, there is a slight improvement, nonetheless, compared to its worst performance in March last year when its market share slipped to an all-time low of 11.6 percent.
Although plasma display panels (PDPs) are known to offer higher contrast ratios and deeper blacks, LCD TV displays with LED-backlighting technology have been gaining in popularity due to their lighter weight factor and lower power consumption. On top of this, IHS Suppli's report also highlighted rising PDP costs (see graph above) as another detrimental factor which may have turned potential buyers away, as manufacturers continue to push for larger and better quality panels. Average prices of plasma sets have been on the incline since January this year, peaking in May with an average retail price of US$1,649.
On the contrary, prices for similar-sized LCD TV displays have been on the decline, commanding an average price of US$1,171 in July, and US$1,194 in June. This downward trend in prices applies to all LCD categories, including Smart TVs, 3D-capable models, and LED-backlit displays, as retailers and brands slugged it out in the run up to the London 2012 Olympics.
And with the introduction of slimmer and more power-efficient OLED TVs looming over the horizon, it's almost a given that the market share for the PDP faction would continue to dwindle further in the months ahead.