12 things that will cost less in 2011
The prices of popular electronics will continue to drop. Here are predictions for 12 hot items.
One of the great things about technology is that we can count on prices dropping at a steady clip over time on the things we want most. The more demand, the faster the electronics industry seems to satisfy us with new, cheaper products. Think how different it is for nonelectronic items such as milk and cereal, which always seem to go up (see our list of 20 things that will be more expensive in 2011).
We've now proven this mathematically, by sifting through thousands upon thousands of tech deals that we've listed over the past couple of years.
Our price trend data show how prices dropped on 12 popular items from 2009 to 2010, based on the individual deals we list on dealnews.com. Then we keyed up our dealnews experts to find out what low price points you'll likely see in 2011.
Just a note on our process: The data for this analysis is derived from "deals" that were previously listed on dealnews.com. By definition, all deals on dealnews are price-checked, verified offers -- "the lowest total price we've seen" -- so the data used for dealnews predictions are based on low prices, not average prices. Refurbished deals are excluded. We correct for anomalies like outliers, floor effects and disruptive new technologies that influence pricing trends. Post continues after video.
Here's what we found:
2009 lowest: $76, Curtis Mathes Blu-Ray Disc Player from Target ($11.83 shipping)
2010 lowest: $50, Samsung BD-C5500 from HP Home & Office (free shipping)
2011 prediction: $39
Why? You'll probably see a lot of blu-ray players bundled as extras with TVs, but you'll also see them as doorbusters.
Kindle e-Book reader
2009 lowest: $259, Kindle 2 from Amazon.com (free shipping)
2010 lowest: $130, Kindle 3 Wi-Fi from Sobongo.com (free shipping)
2011 prediction: $99
Why? Because $99 is a major inflection point for consumer adoption, it was always the inevitable price for the Kindle. You'll pay just slighly more for newer models.
2009 lowest: $490, Panasonic VIERA 42" 600Hz 720p Plasma HDTV from Best Buy ($70 shipping)
2010 lowest: $370, Insignia 42" 600Hz 720p Widescreen Plasma HDTV from Best Buy (free shipping)
2011 prediction: $299
Why? Once they hit $299, LCD HDTVs will destroy the waning market for 32" LCD HDTVs.
2009 lowest: $1,115, LG 55" 120Hz 1080p LCD HDTV from Fry's ($110 shipping)
2010 lowest: $699, Element 55" 120Hz 1080p Widescreen LCD HDTV from Wal-Mart (free shipping)
2011 prediction: $599
Why? 55" LCD HDTV prices ae now where 46" LCD HDTVs were in 2008. So, for 2011, we're predicting what we saw for 46" in 2009.
Wii System bundles
2009 lowest: $170, console bundle from Conn's (free shipping)
2010 lowest: $150, console bundle from Best Buy ($10 shipping)
2011 prediction: $99
Why? Expect more price drops as new models come out and competition drives down prices.
16GB SD card
2009 lowest: $20, Lexar 16GB Platinum II SDHC Class 4 card from Adorama.com (free shipping)
2010 lowest: $17, Centon 16GB SCHC Secure Digital Class 4 card from TigerDirect.com ($2 shipping)
2011 prediction: $12
Why? Yes, it'll be cheap to pick up a 16GB SD card, but that's because you'll be needing a bigger card before too long for your new, cheap SLR camera.
Full-size digital SLR camera
2009 lowest: $346, Pentax K2000 10.2MP Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm lens from Meijer ($8 shipping)
2010 lowest: $319, Canon EOS Rebel XS 10MP Digital SLR Camera with lens from Barnes & Noble ($5.49 shipping)
2011 prediction: $299
Why? In 2011, these high-powered cameras will start to cost what point-and-shoots cost a few years ago. Why go for ridiculously high megapixel counts in a digital camera when you can get a great SLR instead?
15"-16" dual-core laptop
2009 lowest: $299, Dell Inspiron 15n Celeron 2.16GHz 16" Widescreen Laptop from Dell($29 shipping)
2010 lowest: $218, HP G56-127NR AMD 2.3GHz 16" Widescreen Laptop from Fry's ($8 shipping)
2011 prediction: $199
Why? Last year's $300 laptop is today's cheap grab for those who still want computing power but want to pay what they would for a netbook or a cheap Android tablet.
17" dual-core laptop
2009 lowest: $450, Acer Aspire Intel Dual Core 2.1GHz 4GB 17" Widescreen Laptop from Staples (free shipping)
2010 lowest: $450, HP G71 Intel Dual Core 2.2GHz 4GB 17" Widescreen Laptop from Office Depot (in store)
2011 prediction: $399
Why? This basic desktop replacement, with a dual-core processor and at least 4GB of RAM, will drop even further in price.
2009 lowest: $42, Magellan Roadmate 1200 at Toys 'R' Us ($8 shipping)
2010 lowest: $45, Motorola MOTONAV 3.5" Portable GPS Navigator with TTS from Woot ($5 shipping)
2011 prediction: $40
Why? Forty dollars seems to be the floor in GPS prices. As people have turned to their smart phones and in-car models, portable GPS manufacturers are desperately adding features, driving up prices for new models.
External 2TB USB drives
2009 lowest: $140, Fantom G-Force 2TB eSATA/USB Drive from NewEgg.com (free shipping)
2010 lowest: $90, Fantom Green Drive Pro 2TB eSATA/USB Drive from Buy.com ($7 shipping)
2011 prediction: $50
Why? Because 2TB is the new 1TB. Upgrade to one of these and you'll never have to delete a file just to clear up room.
2009 lowest: $199, iPhone 3GS from Apple (free shipping)
2010 lowest: $97, iPhone 3GS from Wal-Mart (in store)
2011 prediction: $49
Why? This price drop is already here! For an 8GB 3GS phone in 2011, at least. Prices will drop for other models, but you'll likely not see the 3GX on sale new for too much longer.
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