Premium LCD TV brands slash prices to compete for holiday shoppers

The biggest names in TV cut prices more than value brands for Black Friday, and could likely stay low.

Black Friday retail results were a pleasant surprise for retailers this year, with sales inching up slightly from the same day last year. A big part of that was the heavy discounting designed to attract consumers.

This LG 32LG30 LCD TV was discounted 33 percent in the lead-up to the holiday shopping season. LG Electronics
TV makers were no exception. But the discounts on LCD TVs were heaviest from the premium names in the business--Sony, Samsung, Sharp, Philips, LG, and Toshiba.

That's according to market research firm iSuppli, which reported Thursday that the top brands cut slashed prices on their LCD TV models on average of 23 percent for the holiday shopping weekend beginning on the day after Thanksgiving. The big guys cut their prices even more than lower-tier players like Vizio and Westinghouse, which dropped theirs by just 19 percent.

The top brands cut their prices so low that at one point the difference between a premium-brand 32-inch LCD TV and a value-brand version was just $61, according to iSuppli consumer electronics analyst Tina Tseng.

The lowest-priced 32-inch value brand LCD TV went for $388 over the weekend, while premium brands offered the same size for as low as $449. The lowest-priced value-brand 40-and 42-inch LCD TVs sold for about $598, while top-tier brands priced theirs at $798.

Even though Black Friday and Cyber Monday are over, iSuppli says shoppers should expect to continue to see these same prices on LCD TVs through the rest of the year as the TV makers and retailers look to entice shoppers in spite of the current recession.

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