What’s hot? What’s not? And what was the last gadget you actually bought? It’s quite the challenge to keep pace with technology’s latest and greatest trends, especially with disposable income tighter than ever for so many. Which made us wonder: Despite all the flashy ads and splashy headlines, which types of consumer electronics are actually selling? According to the top technology insiders we spoke with, the results may shock. Planning on buying a new PC or iPod this year? Surprise: Here’s why you might just be the odd man out…
HDTVs Still Topping Buyers’ Wish Lists
Top tech experts and leading retailers confirm it: High-definition television (HDTV) sets are by far the most popular item on holiday wish lists this year, and should continue to remain a must-have purchase throughout 2010.
Small wonder, considering the category’s popularity as a whole, as over 99% of US households own a boob tube of one sort or another (2.7 of them on average) according to a report by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). In fact, CEA’s chief economist, Shawn DuBravac, says that any category of technology would love to be as successful as the television, which enjoys continued mainstream popularity for several reasons – none of the least of which is a huge array of supporting accessories. Actual quality of programming aside, compatible add-ons such as Blu-ray players, video game systems, DVRs and a diverse array of complementary technologies from media streaming to built-in Internet features continue to keep these units top of mind, and constantly in demand.
Chris Rivera, sales analyst and home theater department manager for Best Buy, points to models like Samsung’s new LED HDTVs as a prime example, saying that the sets have been selling like crazy. “The price of televisions has gone down and their quality has gone up,” he explains, citing shrinking form factors, plummeting costs and continued innovation as key drivers for the category’s continued success.
In conjunction with HDTVs’ omnipresent best-selling status, Rivera further says that accessories for television sets are also often top sellers as well. Blu-ray player purchases have doubled in the past year, he reveals, adding that Best Buy has had trouble keeping Samsung and LG Netflix-streaming models on its shelves. Ultimately, Rivera attributes such devices’ popularity to their convenience, because now, not only do you not have to get in your car and drive to Blockbuster to enjoy Hollywood’s latest films, you don’t even have to get up to go to the mailbox to enjoy movie rentals.