Prices of flat televisions have touched rock bottom, thanks to the reduction in Customs Duty and a drop in global prices. Sony today announced a 5-15 per cent cut in flat TV prices.
Sony said it was passing on the benefits of the Customs duty reduction announced by Finance Minister Jaswant Singh last month to the consumer. A 21-inch flat colour TV, which sold at nearly Rs 20,000 in 2002, will now cost Rs 12,990. After dealer discounts, Rs 12,500.
LG and Samsung executives said they were not considering an immediate price cut since they had reduced prices a few months ago. Currently, Samsung and LG 21-inch flat TVs cost Rs 13,490.
After dealer discounts, they cost around Rs 11,500 in Delhi. Consumer electronics dealers in the city said branded 21-inch flat TVs were available for close to Rs 10,000.
“Globally, the price of flat picture tubes has come down drastically. Since all flat picture tubes in India are imported, the prices here, too, have come down,” said an executive at Samsung Electronics India. C M Singh, national head (consumer electronics), LG India, said growing inventories also resulted in the price reduction.
“In 2002, everyone expected the flat TV segment to take off in a big way and they ramped up production, but the demand was nowhere near expectation. So the prices had to be brought down from Rs 20,000 to Rs 13,000. No player is making money with flat 21-inch TVs. The margins are next to nothing,” Singh explained.
According to ORG-GfK figures for 2003, Samsung is the market leader in flat TVs with a share of 23.7 per cent followed by LG and Sony with 22.2 per cent each.