For the past few months, we’ve been covering the behind-the-scenes news in the TV industry that screen prices have been falling continuously, which has the potential to mean big drops in TV prices later in the year. That’s because TVs in production now, from components that have come down in price, will hit shelves by the end of the year — ready for the big sales events, including Black Friday. That means the discounts may be even deeper than usual.
We’ve already seen signs of this – the LG-Samsung price war is getting underway even faster than usual.
And now a trio of reports in Digitimes suggests that the events driving the price drops have only just begun. Firstly, there is confirmation that the price of LCD panels has continued to fall this month (opens in new tab). Then there is a message that Samsung plans to reduce the number of TV screens ordered (opens in new tab)meaning there may be surplus screens from manufacturers who want to sell them cheaply.
And finally, there is a report that LCD panel makers have reduced production numbers (opens in new tab) in the face of order reductions like Samsung’s, and yet haven’t cut enough, reaffirming that there will likely be excess screens.
There are other factors that affect final TV prices besides the cost of the screens — chips needed, shipping costs, and so on — but it’s a big one, and the fact that these three stories are all so close together is a sign that there is a lot of downward pressure on prices.
That certainly applies to LCD TVs. Things are different for the best OLED TVs, as there’s no competition over who makes panels. Basically all OLED TV screens come from one company – LG Display – which means it has more control over production and pricing.
Analysis: Why Low Demand For Screens Means Cheaper TVs
The reason we’re so sure that the three news stories above mean cheaper TVs are good is supply and demand. When a lot of people want something that you sell, you can charge more for the limited number you have. When people aren’t buying what you’re selling, you need to lower the price to try and encourage people to take them.
During the pandemic, everybody bought TVs. The best TVs flew off the shelves as people suddenly needed a great home theater experience to avoid boredom in lockdown.
But now? Well, everyone has already bought a nice new TV. They don’t need one yet, so TV sales are generally a bit low these days. The TV companies would rather it didn’t, so we’ve seen big discounts on last year’s TVs that are still on the shelves, and we’re seeing discounts on 2022 TVs earlier than usual – to try buying a new TV more attractive.
If fewer people buy TVs, it means the companies don’t have to make that many. As a result, Samsung has reportedly reduced the orders of screens. If the manufacturers have made too much, they have spare screens, with no inherent value. So to get rid of these screens, they lower the wholesale price.
This in turn means that the TV companies even taller discounts. The pressure on the price drop comes from both sides – on the retail side to move existing TVs, and on the production side because the TVs are cheaper to make.
With the cost of living crisis likely to get worse, hopefully this will provide some peace of mind for those in need of a new TV this year – you can save some money, or maybe get an even bigger or better model for the same money. It should make our guides to the best TVs under $1000 and the best TVs under £1000 very interesting…