Beyond iPhone: The top five gadget trends of 2007

Better, cheaper, faster is the order of the day

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Cheaper digital cameras and televisions

Nowhere is the trend toward better, cheaper devices more evident than with digital cameras and large-screen TVs. Nikon accelerated that trend late last year when it introduced its D40, a 6.1-megapixel single-lense reflex camera with a street price approaching $500.

"That established a new price point for entry-level digital SLRs," Rubin said.

That trend is moving into point-and-shoot cameras as well, where the megapixel derby and price competition are in full swing. Consumer cameras with 12 megapixels are starting to appear, such as the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX100. It's not clear that most people will ever need such resolution, and in fact, some experts say that so many megapixels are counterproductive.

On the television side, LCDs were once considered the wrong technology for larger displays but are now commonly available in sizes in the 50-in. range. And while LCDs are getting larger, prices are getting significantly smaller. For example, 42-in. 1080p LCDs can now be found for less than $2,000.

"Large-screen LCDs are starting to eat away at plasma's market share," Rubin said. "We've seen prices come way down."

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