TVs to cost more as display panels get expensive

New Delhi: Prices of television sets are likely to go up as Chinese manufacturers have increased the cost of display panels by 35 per cent and Taiwanese and South Korean suppliers have stopped manufacturing small TV screens. The global supply-demand gap is expected to reflect in TV prices.

While Panasonic has already upped the prices of its sets, other major manufacturers like Videocon, LG, Samsung and Sony are mulling their options. “Low supply of display panels has caused us to review our pricing and we will be increasing the price of the Panasonic television sets across screen sizes by 15 to 20%,” said Panasonic India Head, Sales and Service, Ajay Seth.

He added: “We anticipate Indian customers will now upgrade faster to larger screen sizes since the current price hike will narrow the price difference between a 32-inch and 40-inch (TV set) to Rs 4,000 as compared to Rs 6,000 previously.”

An LG spokesperson said: “We at LG have always believed in providing best value to our consumers and we are closely monitoring the situation.”

“On the basis of our advance planning, we don’t intend to have any price hike during the festive season. We will closely monitor the situation and review post Diwali,” said Sony India Head of Sales, Satish Padmanabhan.

Videocon COO CM Singh said that the prices of 32-inch panels have gone up the most, followed by 40-inches. “In fact, the shortage may worsen further in October and panel prices may go up by another 18-20%,” said Singh. Explaining the reasons, he said: “For smaller screen, now there are few players supplying panels. It was coupled with Apple increasing the demand and lot of players getting out of smaller screen.” In India sales of small screen sets are 70 to 75% with 32-inch TV sets contributing around 38% of total sales, he added.

Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association (CEAMA) President Manish Sharma said India is a big market for 32-inch and 40–42 inch LED TVs, with the former selling almost 3.3 million units and the latter about 1.1 million units in 2015.

However, market leaders Sony and LG are closely monitoring the situation and may take a decision after Diwali, when the festive season gets over.

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