Sony expects TV price falls in U.S. by year-end

Television prices are likely to fall in the U.S. market ahead of the year-end, the head of Sony Corp's loss-making TV division said on Thursday. His comments came hours after LG Display, the world's No. 2 LCD flat screen maker, reported its worst operating profit in six quarters on sliding prices for panels. "I think TV prices as a whole will of course fall. There is a lot of inventory in the market," Sony senior vice president Yoshihisa Ishida told Japanese reporters at a briefing in Tokyo to mark the launch of the company's Google-enhanced televisions in the United States. "But what is different from the past is that we cannot necessarily rely on unit sales rising," Ishida added. "We cannot be sure that manipulating prices will mean the market expands again," he said. The launch date for Sony's Google TV, which enables users to search and toggle between live TV, Web content and apps, has not been fixed for Japan and other non-U.S. markets. Ishida said Sony, the world's third-largest maker of flat TVs after Samsung and LG Electronics, would have to reconsider pricing for its Google TV if it seemed too far out of sync with other sets. At present he does not envisage dramatic cuts in prices, which start at $400 for a 24-inch model.

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