Speculation in some parts of the channel about monitor "dumping" is proving to be unfounded. Some distributors and vendors in the 15in CRT market are even predicting price increases.
Fabio Grassia, managing director of Proview distributor Natcomp Technology, told ARN that, although there has been some price reduction - about 6 per cent - over the last few months, he has been advised of an increase expected next month.
"A portion of the recent reductions was lost due to the drop in the Australian dollar," he said. "We have seen a substantial drop in 17in prices over the same period, mostly due to the pick up in demand and production of the larger CRTs."
According to Grassia, the typical dealer purchase price on the 15in Proview PX 560 has fallen from $250 to $230 ex tax over the last three months, while the 17in PX776 has gone from $495 to $420. "Hardly dumping and more like natural market forces at work," he said.
Meanwhile, Vantage Point Technology managing director Steve Stuart has described some downward price movements of Panasonic and Philips brand monitors as aggressive but certainly not dumping.
Typical dealer buy prices on 15in Panasonic E50 and Philips 105S have fallen from $350 to around $270 ex tax for single units. These prices make them very competitively placed with some of the lesser-known middle-tier brands.
Stuart said the 15in Panasonics are now manufactured in Taiwan, and this probably accounts for its price drop. The short length 17in SL70 and entry level E70, which are still manufactured in Japan, have also fallen.
Panasonic distributor Vantage Point Technology released new pricing on its 14in LC40 TFT LCD flat panel. The new reseller price of $1500 ex tax is a massive drop from $3480 just two months ago. This follows hard on the heels of Philips recent announcement of what it claims to be the first active TFT LCD flat screen 15.1in monitor with an RRP of under $2000. (See ARN Daily Aug 13 (http://arn.idg.com.au).
Stuart said the prices of these LCDs are really bringing them into the range of affordability, though another industry analyst claims the maximum price difference the market will bear for superior replacement technology is one and a half times the original.