I used to love new cars and gadgets. Some evidences: I can call out the make and model of most cars on the street; I bought the Dell 1st generation Pocket PC Axim, later returned it because it’s too bulky, bought the Palm Tungsten E instead.
These days I was looking for a LCD photo frame. I noticed this thing for a while, but it was until now I found this is a very lucrative business at this time. The reason? It’s still kind expensive. For a decent 7″ philips, it’s about $199 at sharper image. For comparison purpose, I found LCD monitor is very cheap these days, e.g., this Acer 22″ LCD display only costs $190 at Bestbuy.
After research I decided to hold my purchase for a while. I believe this thing will drop in 6 months or so (next holiday season?); and I don’t need it so urgently. Originally I thought I could use it to display some of my pictures, but I could use my computer (screen saver) too.
The reason why those LCD are a bit expensive is simple: supply and demand. There may be some shortages of components and manufacturing capacities, and until now it’s a hot gift for people who don’t use computer very often, easy to use user interface, good display quality. But the supply side of thing should change very soon. There are already some cheaper ones, such as this one, I believe they will improve the quality gap with Philips over time.
I predict similar things could be said for the highly hypered iPhone, remember how expensive was the Motorola Razer at one time, couple hundred bucks. Now it’s free with most plans in the US. I am not saying iPhone will be free, but like iPod, the price will drop as time goes. In the mean time, the businesses (Philips, Apple, Motorola, etc.) made a lot money from the early adopters of their products.