Local monitor market chalks up mammoth growth

Local monitor market chalks up mammoth growth

The local PC monitor market experienced a mammoth second quarter due to aggressive vendor pricing and an active channel, IDC's latest results report.

The analyst group's latest figures show the Australian PC monitor market grew by 20 per cent from the same period in 2004, with a total of 750,000 shipments.

"This is phenomenal growth - it well and truly exceeded my expectations," PC hardware analyst, Mercie Clement, said.

She attributed the growth to aggressive pricing from vendors.

"Australia has been a bit of an anomaly because while prices elsewhere have been going up because of the hike in LCD panel costs, Australian prices have been staying the same or going down," she said.

"Vendors have been absorbing the increased costs, with some vendors even selling below cost price."

LCD panel prices have increased as manufacturers in Korea and China turn their attention towards LCD and plasma televisions, according to Clement.

A very significant government tender and several smaller ones, along with pent-up demand from a shortage in the previous quarter, also contributed to the current quarter's growth, she said.

BenQ recorded an with 18.5 per cent marketshare to displace LG (16 per cent) from the top ranking position in Q2.

These two vendors stood out from the rest in terms of what they offered resellers, Clement said.

LG launched a program earlier this year for its notebooks and monitors where resellers accumulated points. These could be exchanged either for personal items like movies and petrol or for LG products which resellers could onsell for 100 per cent profit.

Ben Q has also focused a lot of attention on supporting the channel, according to Clement, making sure they have good margins, discounted products and all the necessary marketing collateral.

"Pricing and margins are important to resellers but at the end of the day it's important to think about how to keep the channel happy in other respects, and both LG and BenQ have done this," she said.

Samsung found itself in third place with 14.5 per cent, followed by Philips (12.8 per cent). Acer round out the top five (10.8 per cent).

Clement said another trend was the steeply declining share that CRT monitors are holding. CRT's had 27.5 per cent of the market last quarter and only 18.5 per cent in this quarter.

"This is because LCD pricing has been so aggressive and also because you never see PC vendors bundling their products with CRTs anymore," she said. "It is always LCDs.

"Having said that, there is still some demand for CRTs in price sensitive markets like education or government and some niche vertical markets like publishing houses."

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