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Analysts: 3-D TV sales not as high as expected

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 8:05am
Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer

NEW YORK (AP) – Sales of 3-D TV sets have been weaker than expected this year, as 3-D content is lacking and overall TV sales in North America are slack, research firm DisplaySearch said.

DisplaySearch scaled back its worldwide 3-D TV sales forecast Wednesday to 3.2 million sets this year, down from a forecast of 3.4 million made less than three months ago. It reduced its North America sales forecast even more abruptly, to "just under" 1.6 million units from more than 2 million.

"Set makers have trained consumers to expect rapid price falls for new technology, and consumers seem happy to wait a little," said Paul Gagnon, a DisplaySearch analyst.

In March, TV maker Samsung Electronics said it expected all manufacturers to sell 3 million to 4 million 3-D-capable sets combined in the U.S. this year.

In the first half of the year, overall LCD TV sales in North America were down 3 percent from last year, as the economy continued to be slow and TV prices stabilized after rapid price drops.

A 46-inch 3-D TV costs roughly $300 more than a similar non-3-D model.

DisplaySearch, which is part of NPD Group, is more bullish than ever on the long-term prospects for 3-D. It doubled its 2014 sales forecast on Wednesday to 90 million units worldwide, noting that manufacturers are committed to the technology. It doesn't cost that much to include the capability to display 3-D in a high-end set.

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