Originally Posted by Joseph Dubin
Of course the consumer electronics industry is healthy - it only means they might not be making as much profit as they predicted earlier this year, not that they are suffering. But what is healthy for business does not mean it is the same for the American public.
My wife and I are are quite fortunate. Our income is no different than the average middle class family but we invested in a co-op decades ago when it first opened (and was quite affordable) so we have no loan to pay off and our monthly living expenses are tremendously lower than one living in the equivalent type of two bedroom apartment (the fixed monthly equity includes central air conditioning, electicity, water, maintenance and indoor parking). We also did not invest a penny of our pension and savings in stocks so we were not affect by the crash. We kept our spending to what we could afford and pay off in full on our credit cards each month (hence we don't replace television sets or cars every few years).
So I think you are short-changing yourself. From what you have told us it seems you are quite fortunate indeed, moreso than the average middle class worker. The middle class is not able to drive BMWs or Mercedes or replace televisions every three years, especially if having been out of work for a few months (so glad that is behind you). So like your friends, you might be more in the minority than the mainstream than you realize.
But, of course the situations we both are is, unfortunately, not the case for most. Here is an article from the New York Times which best sums up the plight of many within the average "mainstream" America.http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/1a8a5cb2-9...44feab49a.html
Joe...again we diagree. You seem to lump everything into one group
First off buying a TV and a car are on completely two different ends of the spectrum..for me and my immediate friends, family and co workers anyway..and we all represent middle class America
A car is a major expense that will require upkeep , repairs , insurance and is a necessity for getting back and forth to work
A TV is an extremely lower priced purchase...a fraction of the other,frankly...there is no upkeep, maintenance or repairs required...and most importantly is not a necessity for getting back and forth to work.
To compare those two on a financial plane does not make sense for many reasons
That being said I, for one, don't think you have to appeal to the mainstream to have a successful product. I am not sure why you think everything relates to that.
Based on the numbers Best Buy just posted there is still a LOT of spending going on...and I am certain you seen the lines for "i" phones and tons of other products that don't really represent ..what you would call a "true" upgrade or difference. Though people keep buying ...
I think just about any electronic item can fit this category..be it updated cell phones...streaming blu ray players..3D televisions etc
Why do these items sell?...according to what you say they should not be moving from the shelves
What I think you fail to realize.....is that even before this economic crisis..many of the same situations existed for many Americans.
This, as you may recall, was one of the talking points during the presidential campaigns and other races....rich getting richer, poor getting poorer
If you look at income trends in the last 3 decades that is exactly what has happened
Have you looked at the wealth/income of the top 10% of Americans...and how it has soared over the last 30 years.The numbers are staggering in regard to personal wealth as well as the number of people that it represents in the United States, in total. Unfortunately there is a significant part of the population that has seen their wealth decline over the last 30 years...again this was pre-recession
When the presidential race was going on I actually took the time to look all this statistical information up and see the income/economic trends and what it meant to be in the top 10%...what middle class meant as well as what was considered lower income and poverty
Long story short..I was amazed at the numbers on both ends of the spectrum
Top 10% was not as high as I thought it was and if you look at top 5%..its through the roof!!!
So...there are lot of people, still today even, with a LOT of $$$ in the United States
As as retailer, producer etc...you need to know your target market and how to approach and reach them.
There is no reason that you have to have a mainstream product to be successful....again look at your numbers on blu ray players
Based on your numbers its a luxury item..at 13%
But really if you break down that 13%..as I am sure the manufacturers have...what percentage of those people are going to buy a 3D TV....5%,6%,7%?
Who is going to buy a high end TV anyway...5% of the people that will buy one in 2010 ?
These are niche products..not mainstream. Some things never make it past niche and are still very successful from a financial standpoint.
I think they are being as such...at this time anyway. If they roll out bread and butter models next year(and/or Walmart starts marketing them as well)..then we will see what happens. Then I would say it would be marketed at the mainstream. Right now its a niche product. Marketed to those that like better audio and better video products and would buy them anyway...3D or not
And as for the car thing..Joe..yes I feel blessed that I have had the financial ability to own what I think are some of the best manufactured products out there...though I do not own of them now...
But anyway.....thats another area where you should look at the numbers of some of these average owners and see how much wealth is
Case in point....the average Porsche Cayeene owner makes several hundred thousand dollars and year and has more than one Porsche in their garage
Clearly Porsche knows this and doesn't send any marketing material to me..
But I bet that's a very profitable product for them and they know who to market it to
As I mentioned before..I would not have purchased this 3D television at the regular "sale" price. I simply didn't think I could pass up the offer on what was better, in every way, than what I had currently....and I am strictly talking 2D. 3D is just a bonus
what happened to Nick with the technical info?...I really wanted some info from him