According to IHS iSuppli, 22.7% of consumers purchased such TVs in the first quarter of this year, up from 19.8% in Q4 2010. One year ago, the share was 20.2%.
"The rising popularity of 50-inch-and-larger sets among U.S. consumers stems from pure market economics," said Riddhi Patel, director for television systems and retail services at IHS. "Televisions have become less expensive for the consumer, allowing even bigger sets previously considered beyond the reach of most consumers to become accessible. Consumer demand for ever-bigger sets has not abated, with the acquisition of larger televisions viewed as highly desirable for ordinary American households."
According to the market research firm, the average 50-inch flat panel TV was priced at $1582 in Q1 2011, down 8% from $1723 in the preceding quarter. The most popular TV segment remains the 40-49 inches, which captured a 39.5% share in the first quarter, followed by the 30-39-inch market, which landed at 25.5%. The 50-inch market has turned into the fastest growing segment with a 2.9 point sequential market share gain over Q4. Only screen sizes above 30 inches are growing their market share: The share of 21-29-inch TVs fell by 2.3 points to 8.5% and 20-inch or smaller TVs dropped 2.5 points to 3.8%.