Study: Gadget prices fall

By Dinesh C. Sharma, CNET

Prices of technology gear declined by 18 percent in November compared with the same period last year, according to data released Wednesday by market researcher NPD. The fall in prices can be attributed to Black Friday promotions, the market researcher said. (Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, one of the busiest shopping days of the year.) NPD’s consumer electronics price watch covers 27 product categories, including televisions, PCs, cameras and media players. The prices of nine types of products fell 10 percent or more compared with their October prices, NDP said.

Notebook PC prices tumbled the most–21 percent to $850–while 3-megapixel digital still cameras dropped to $157, a drop of over 18 percent. The prices of 128MB of digital memory fell below $30, recording a decline 50 percent in three months. Portable DVD players fell to $181, 17 percent lower than October prices, NPD said. The LCD and plasma categories also dipped, it said.

“November 2004 was an excellent time to purchase highly desirable tech products at historically low prices,” Stephen Baker, director of industry analysis at NPD, said in a statement.

“Historically, November is the month when manufacturers and retailers vie for consumer dollars, simply to generate the most revenue at the start of the holiday buying season. In addition to generating revenue, these price cuts are also an excellent way to jump-start demand for a particular product.”

NPD analysts, however, feel that the trend may not have been carried over into December, though some products will be under price pressure.