Sales figures indicate Blu-ray didn't profit from HD DVD's demise. Blu-ray standalone player sales dropped 40 percent from January to February and rose only 2 percent from February to March. Sales are so low in fact that NPD refuses to release actual numbers as these could be used to identify individual retailers:
In fact, sales of Blu-ray standalone players remain so low that NPD has not yet released actual numbers, for fear that it would be easy to identify individual retailers. The research group will start to give actual figures later this year, said Ross Rubin, director of industry analysis at NPD.
The end of the format wars clearly did little to boost Blu-ray’s prospects. Like others, Mr. Rubin said the much cheaper upconverting standard DVD players are winning consumers’ hearts and wallets.
The price of upconverting players is hovering around $70. And this week, Amazon is giving them away for free when consumers purchase certain Samsung TVs. The result: a 5 percent uptick in upconverting DVD player sales in the first quarter of 2008, compared to same quarter a year ago, and a 39 percent decline in players that don’t have that feature.
With Blu-ray players still costing more than $300 — and a number of players on the market still lacking some Blu-ray features like Internet connectivity — NPD now figures that Blu-ray’s future won’t be clear until this Christmas, when prices should drop to the $200 range.