Well, OK, not everything, but consumer electronics.
My local supermarket sells DVD players for £30. That’s, well, peanuts. Considerably less than it costs to fill up the car.
Yesterday I went into the same supermarket, and they had portable CD players (Discman type) for £9.99. And that included a free CD wallet and cleaning CD.
WTF? About 15 years ago I spent a small fortune (for a 12-year-old - I think it was about £150) on a Discman. I also won a 14-inch TV in a competition at around that time, and was really chuffed - it was worth about £250 IIRC. Nowadays you can get a TV that size with built-in DVD player for about £60.
When did this happen? Can I expect to buy a mammoth flat-screen telly for pocket change in another 10 or 15 years?
You can expect to buy a mammoth flat-screen telly in May for half the price you’d get now. According to the economy and tech pages of several Spanish language newspapers, plus friends of mine who happen to make flat-screen tellys
There are several new factories and production lines being finished as we, uhm, write. So supply will raise sharply, and everybody in the industry knows it. That’s one of the reasons they’ve been pushed so hard right now.
CD/DVD type things with red lasers are what’s called a “mature technology”; flat screens are at the hilltop rightnow. A “mature product” is, in marketing, a product where you get more money by selling “lots, cheap” than “a few, very expensive”.
I say ‘with red lasers’ because Sony has announced that their next PS will have blue lasers (more information in the same disk); they have also announced that they won’t be selling burners. Yet. The yet is mine: I’m betting they’ll start selling blue burners once they think that the revenue from the burners compensates from the loss to piracy.
Technology stuff decreases in value very rapidly, which is great. But other stuff like healthcare, education and housing inscreases in cost over time.
I remember when a computer with a 4GB HD was over $1000.
As far as a big screen TV I guess it depends. YOu can get a 25" TV for $160 largely in part because 25" is a popular size so the manufacturers can sell in bulk. I don’t know if big screen TVs have as many bulk purchases as 25" TVs. If not, then no probably not.
I don’t want to sound like some protectionist yob, but part of the reason these things are so cheap is that they are being manufactured by people making a dollar a day instead of $15 an hour. While in the short run, it’s nice to buy $30 DVD players, in the long run, there won’t be any income here with which to buy them.
Not much to add to this discussion except for the fact that I was discussing this with my wife yesterday.
We saw an ad for a DVD Recorder for $199 in a circular yesterday. I seem to remember a day, not too long ago, when such a device would have easily set one back about $600 to $900. Likewise, portable DVD players have come down considerably as well. About a year ago, you had to shell out about $300 for a bottom-of-the-line model. Now you can get one for about $99-$129.