12 Things That Will Cost Less in 2011

By Beth Pinsker, Editorial Director of dealnews

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 non-electronic 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 shows how prices dropped on 12 popular items from 2009 to 2010, based on the individual deals we list on our site. 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 is 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.

Here's what we found:

2009 Lowest
2010 Lowest
2011 Prediction
Curtis Player
Blu-Ray Player
Curtis Mathes Blu-ray Disc Player from Target ($11.83 shipping)
Samsung BD-C5500 from HP Home & Office (free shipping)
$39 You'll probably see a lot of Blu-Ray players bundled as extras with TVs, but you'll also see them as doorbusters and priced like crockpots.
Kindle Reader
Kindle eBook Reader
Kindle 2 from Amazon.com (free shipping)
Kindle 3 WiFi from Sobongo.com (free shipping)
$99 Because $99 is a major inflection point for consumer adoption, it was always the inevitable price for the Kindle. You'll pay just slightly more for newer models.
Panasonic HDTV
42" HDTV
Panasonic VIERA 42" 600Hz 720p Plasma HDTV from Best Buy ($70 shipping)
Insignia 42" 600Hz 720p Widescreen Plasma HDTV from Best Buy (free shipping)
$299 Once they hit $299, 42" LCD HDTVs will destroy the waning market for 32" LCD HDTVs.
55" HDTV
LG 55" 120Hz 1080p Widescreen LCD HDTV from Fry's ($110 shipping)
Element 55" 120Hz 1080p Widescreen LCD HDTV from Walmart (free shipping)
$599 55" LCD HDTV prices are now where 46" LCD HDTVs were in 2008. So, for 2011, we're predicting what we saw for 46" in 2009.
Wii Console
Wii System Bundles
Console Bundle from Conn's (free shipping)
Console Bundle from Best Buy ($10 shipping)
$99 Expect more price drops as new models come out and competition drives down prices.
Lexar SD Card
16GB SD Card
Lexar 16GB Platinum II SDHC Class 4 Card from Adorama.com (free shipping)
Centon 16GB SDHC Secure Digital Class 4 Card from TigerDirect.com ($2 shipping)
$12 Yes, it'll be cheap to pick up a 16MB SD card, but that's because you'll be needing a bigger card before too long for your new, cheap SLR camera.
Pentax SLR Camera
Full-Size Digital SLR Camera
Pentax K2000 10.2MP Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm lens from Meijer ($8 shipping)
Canon EOS Rebel XS 10MP Digital SLR Camera w/ lens from Barnes & Noble ($5.49 shipping)
$299 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?
Dell Laptop 15
15" – 16" Dual-Core Laptop
Dell Inspiron 15n Celeron 2.16GHz 16" Widescreen Laptop from Dell ($29 shipping)
HP G56-127NR AMD 2.3GHz 16-inch Widescreen Laptop from Fry's ($8 shipping)
$199 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.
Acer Laptop 17
17" Dual-Core Laptop
Acer Aspire Intel Dual Core 2.1GHz 4GB 17" Widescreen Laptop from Staples (free shipping)
HP G71 Intel Dual Core 2.2GHz 4GB 17" Widescreen Laptop from Office Depot (in store)
$399 This basic desktop replacement, with a dual-core processor and at least 4GB of RAM, will drop even further in price.
Magellan GPS
Portable GPS
Magellan Roadmate 1200 at Toys 'R' Us ($8 shipping)
Motorola MOTONAV 3.5" Portable GPS Navigator w/ TTS from Woot ($5 shipping)
$40 $40 appears to be the floor in GPS prices. As people have turned to their smartphones and in-car models, portable GPS manufacturers are desperately adding features, driving up prices for new models.
External Hard Drive 2TB
External 2TB USB Drives
Fantom G-Force 2TB eSATA/USB Drive from NewEgg.com (free shipping)
Fantom Green Drive Pro 2TB eSATA/USB from Buy.com ($7 shipping)
$50 2TB is the new 1TB. Upgrade to one of these and you'll never have to delete a file just to clear up room.
iPhone 3GS
iPhone 3GS
iPhone 3GS from Apple (free shipping)
iPhone 3GS from Walmart (in store)
$49 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 3GS on sale new for too much longer.

We also went out with our video camera to the "Big Show" of the National Retail Federation to see what retail experts think about prices going up and down. Here's what they had to say:

Beth Pinsker is dealnews' Editorial Director. She was most recently the Editor of WalletPop.com and has been a life-long bargain hunter. Follow her on Twitter — @bethpinsker. You can also sign up for an email alert for alldealnews features.

Photo Credit: Pansonaut via Flickr.

DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).


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