A sale can’t look like a sale if the previous number on the tag isn’t high. Pricing for US flat-panel televisions stopped falling in August as the market prepares for the upcoming holiday season. In fact, prices actually hit an all-time high, as you can see for yourself in the graph below:

2012 10 08 TV Dont buy a TV anytime soon: US Flat Panel prices are rebounding in advance of holiday season

The latest data comes from iSuppli, which explains that the upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, as well as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, are to blame. US retail pricing for liquid crystal display (LCD) televisions and plasma display panels (PDP) closed at an average of $1,267 in August, up from $1,168 in July and $1,194 in June. In other words, everything was going well up until the middle of last quarter.

October isn’t over, and while we don’t have complete data for September, iSuppli says “no large increases are expected at the close of the third quarter just before the selling season starts in earnest during the fourth.” Despite the price increases, however, consumers continued to buy large-sized TVs.

Between August 2011 and August 2012, the 65-inch moved from 1.1 percent to 2.9 percent market share, and the 55-inch moved from 12.7 percent to 14.3 percent. This was at the expense of the 32-inch, long the most popular dimension in the American market, which now commands a 13.1 percent share, down significantly from 17.3 percent a year ago. It has now dropped behind the 46-inch in terms of sales.

August also saw a sharp increase in the proportion of models possessing high-end features, Full HD specs and “Smart” Internet connectivity, according to iSuppli. I’m also sad to report that the same goes for 3D TVs.

In short, if you’re planning to buy a TV this year, pay close attention to the deals out there. Make sure you’re actually getting a price that isn’t simply the same as what was offered in the summer.

Image credit: MJimages