Sales in flat panel displays continue to drive a steady rise in third-party monitors, with vendors reporting stellar sales that could eclipse cathode ray tube (CRT) monitor sales by the end of the year.
Market analyst Inform reports monitor unit sales have risen 1 per cent year on year for April, on the back of a strong flat panel display (FPD) and flat screen showing. These accounted for 30 per cent of the market in April 2002, compared to just 9 per cent the year before.
FPD sales increased by 9 per cent on March to reach an overall share of 12 per cent and a year-on-year increase of 8.5 per cent.
Samsung was the chief brand to capitalise on the strong FPD market. Its stake in the market grew 4 per cent in April and the vendor holds 18 per cent unit share.
LG retained its top position with 19 per cent of the overall market and Philips held 16 per cent. Mitsubishi and Hyundai also posted strong sales to take 8 per cent and 7 per cent share respectively. BenQ slipped to sixth spot with 7 per cent, followed by ViewSonic, which grew its share to take 6 per cent of the market.
Despite the slip, BenQ says FPD sales are rocketing along. Marketing manager Kamil Gurgen described sales as "almost vertical".
"We sold as many [products] last month as we did last year," he said.
BenQ projects its liquid crystal display (LCD) market will reach 3 million units this year, compared to around 1.2 million in 2001. At that rate, LCD products will overtake BenQ's CRT business by the end of the year, he said.
"You know you've hit [the mass market] when you are pushing 3000-5000 units per month."
Gurgen also believes the company has the advantage because it can control the most expensive component of the display, the LCD panel. Panel components shortages have seen LCD prices rise since the beginning of the year, and this showed in April with value sales up 2 per cent on March.
According to Inform analyst Claire Taverner, many vendors were able to absorb much of the price increases, thanks to a stronger dollar. However FPD prices increased for the third consecutive month - up 3 per cent on March figures. In contrast, CRT prices dropped 7 per cent on average. This was offset by a 7 per cent increase in unit sales.