DealNews.com has released its annual round-up of things it predicts will drop in price during the upcoming year. There are some very specific items — like the Microsoft Surface RT, which didn’t ignite a burning desire among consumers for Windows-based wireless devices, and which will soon be pushed aside for the Surface Pro. And there are some purely speculative notions — like claiming that gas prices will drop because of one analyst’s prediction on the price of oil.
Here are some of the ones that appeal to a wide range of consumers and which appear to be more than just speculation.
With more companies, most notably Redbox, entering into a market once dominated by Netflix, it’s hoped that the increased competition will drive digital rental and download prices down a bit, or at least keep them from increasing.
The Wall Street Journal’s Kelli Grant argues (see the video below) that the improved content on these streaming services will at the very least allow some consumers to save money by cutting back on their pay-TV packages or cutting the cord entirely.
This one is probably a no-brainer to those who have watched LCD and LED prices drop significantly over the last few years. DealNews predicts that the biggest price cuts for TVs in 2013 will be in the 60″ models, while WSJ points to the fact that a 32″ TV now costs only half of what it did a few years ago. So people are getting more screen inches for their money.
This one is a toughie, as there are no specific release dates or prices for the next generation of consoles from Microsoft or Sony. But if either of those next-gen consoles hits in 2013, prices on current generation Xbox 360s and PlayStation 3s will likely take a dive.
DealNews is putting a lot of hope on the small shoulders of the Kickstarter-funded Ouya console, with its $99 price. There is also Valve’s Steam Box — though anyone expecting to see that this year would be mindful to think of how long they’ve been waiting for Valve to release the new Half-Life game.
Regardless, both of these consoles — along with the growing popularity of downloaded games — could herald the end of the disc era. While that won’t drop prices this year, game makers will see huge savings when they no longer have to worry about manufacturing, printing, shipping, leakage and returns.
eBooks and Digital Magazines
Both DealNews and the Journal agree that the recent settlement of price-fixing allegations against a handful of the nation’s largest publishers will lead to eBooks finally being more affordable than their paperback counterparts. There are still some publishers who are refusing to settle and you’ll still see the “price determined by publisher” note on Amazon for those companies’ titles.
Historically, many of the $0 (plus 2-year contract) phone deals we’ve seen over the years have been on phones that were popular several haircuts ago. But DealNews says that there are an increasing number of these enticing deals featuring phones consumers actually covet. It is predicting that there will only be more of these no-cost (or even profitable, when you factor in bonus gift cards) deals during the next 11 months and 29 days.
The Journal’s Grant predicts that used car prices will drop 4% by the end of 2013, with half of that price drop coming in the year’s first quarter.
As for new cars, Grant says that prices aren’t going down, but many car makers are putting new features into their vehicles without commensurate price increases.