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IDC reports drop in monitor sales

IDC reports drop in monitor sales

IDC has attributed a decline in sales across the monitors market over the past 12 months to a lack of PC buying incentives.

Associate analyst for PC hardware, Mercie Clement, said a year-on-year comparison for the quarter actually showed a drop of two per cent in the overall market. This was despite a notable increase in consumer-targeted LCD screens marketing last quarter.

"There have been very few large-scale tenders, the Y2K refresh is close to being over and there is no compelling driver in the PC market," she said. "While pricing has stabilised from the rapid drops during the last two quarters, the channel is still somewhat wary about keeping stock."

The market was also beginning to see a shortage of LCD panels, particularly for 17-inch models, Clement said.

"That size is close to becoming the new de facto standard size - especially in tenders," she said. "The effect is that we are starting to see prices creep up after a long period of price-drops."

The quarter also saw an increase in the trend toward the unbundling of monitors from PCs in consumer buying decisions, placing greater pressure on vendors and resellers to add value to their offerings, Clement said.

"Previously, when there was a tender for a desktop, OEMs bundled monitors with their PCs but as prices are so aggressive, end-users are unbundling their purchases," she said. "With everyone being price competitive what else can they bundle in with their desktops to increase the value proposition?"

Despite the general cannibalising effect of notebooks on monitor sales, Clement said the bundling of monitors with notebooks was also on the rise. "Lightweight, portable notebooks are being used for travel, but larger LCD screens are used in-office," she said."

IDC has attributed a decline in sales across the monitors market over the past 12 months to a lack of PC buying incentives.

Associate analyst for PC hardware, Mercie Clement, said a year-on-year comparison for the quarter actually showed a drop of two per cent in the overall market. This was despite a notable increase in consumer-targeted LCD screens marketing last quarter.

"There have been very few large-scale tenders, the Y2K refresh is close to being over and there is no compelling driver in the PC market," she said.

"While pricing has stabilised from the rapid drops during the last two quarters, the channel is still somewhat wary about keeping stock."

To add to this, the market was also beginning to see a shortage of LCD panels, particularly for 17 inch models, Clement said.

"That size is close to becoming the new de facto standard size - especially in tenders," she said. "The effect is that we are starting to see prices creep up after a long period of price-drops."

The quarter also saw an increase in the trend toward the unbundling of monitors from PCs in consumer buying decisions, placing greater pressure on vendors and resellers to add value to their offerings, Clement said.

"Previously when there was a tender for a desktop, OEMs bundled monitors with their PCs but as prices are so aggressive, end-users are unbundling their purchases," she said. "With everyone being price competitive what else can they bundle in with their desktops to increase the value proposition?"

Despite the general cannibalising effect of notebooks on monitor sales, Clement said the bundling of monitors with notebooks was also on the rise.

"Lightweight, portable notebooks are being used for travel, but larger LCD screens are used in-office," she said. "Also, verticals such as mining and finance are increasingly using multiple screens."

Also of note was the marked shift in branded versus unbranded market share, with unbrandeds losing 7.5 per cent share sequentially, Clement said.

"Q4 saw Ingram Micro trying to sort out their post-merger logistics which meant they kept inventory levels low, and that favoured unbrandeds," she said. "In Q1 it was business as usual for Ingram and the new stability in pricing helped brandeds more than it did unbrandeds."

Overall, LG and BenQ proved to be the star performers of the combined monitor market in the first quarter of 2005. LG managed to pick up 3.9 per cent sequential share to retain the number one slot while BenQ moved up from fifth spot last quarter to number three with 3.7 per cent sequential growth over the previous quarter.

Acer also did well, coming up from sixth place in Q4 to fourth spot in Q1. Mitsubishi, on the other hand, plummeted from fourth spot in Q4 to sixth in Q1, Clement said.

"LG have been very aggressive with their pricing and have a stronghold in consumer, while BenQ's growth has been driven by their LCD business in which they hold the number one market position," she said. "Acer has been very price sensitive and has added BigW to their channel, while Mitsubishi have good branding but were still hurt by the aggressiveness of tier one competitors."

"Verticals such as mining and finance are also increasingly using multiple screens."

The marked shift in branded versus unbranded market share, with unbrandeds losing 7.5 per cent share sequentially, was also notable, Clement said. "Q4 saw Ingram Micro trying to sort out its post-merger logistics which meant they kept inventory levels low, and that favoured unbrandeds," she said. "In Q1 it was business as usual for Ingram and the new stability in pricing helped brandeds more than it did unbrandeds."

Overall, LG and BenQ proved to be the star performers of the combined monitor market in the first quarter of 2005. LG managed to pick up 3.9 per cent sequential share to retain the number one slot while BenQ moved up from fifth spot last quarter to number three with 3.7 per cent sequential growth over the previous quarter.

Acer also did well, coming up from sixth place in Q4 to fourth spot in Q1. Mitsubishi, on the other hand, plummeted from fourth spot in Q4 to sixth in Q1, Clement said.

"LG has been very aggressive with its pricing and has a stronghold in consumer, while BenQ's growth has been driven by its LCD business in which it holds the number one market position," she said. "Acer has been very price sensitive and has added BigW to their channel, while Mitsubishi has good branding but was still hurt by the aggressiveness of tier-one competitors."


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