The total number of PC monitors shipped in the Australian market declined 17 per cent from the second quarter of 2004, according to latest figures from IDC.
The third quarter is traditionally a low point during the calendar year for shipments, but several sharp drops in the price of LCD monitors exacerbated the problem, the research group found.
IDC associate analyst of PC hardware, Mercie Clement, said resellers were particularly apprehensive about retaining overpriced stock in a market where prices were depreciating at an accelerating rate.
"There was an oversupply of panels in Taiwan and Korea specifically, which then affected the price of monitors," she said. "Prices dropped so quickly and they could not predict when it was going to stop or stabilise. So the reseller community held off their purchasing." According to Clement, some vendors were more aggressive in their pricing than others.
This trend had seen some tier two vendors pick up share from the top tier players, she said.
"CMV was quite notable as they gained sequential growth of 30 per cent over Q2, but their install base was fairly small," she said. "They not only kept up with the pricing trends, but dictated them over the course of the quarter.
"In part, it is about where they source their panels, but I think they have also made a deliberate attempt to gain market share with a lot of marketing promotion."
IDC said the branded monitors market suffered more than the OEM market, declining an additional seven percentage points.
"Pricing affected branded products more as there was no compelling reason for people to buy stand-alone monitors," Clement said. "OEMs generally did better as they usually bundle monitors with boxes. While there were not many tenders, there were still enough to help them more sell monitors."
The fortunes of branded vendors also changed over the quarter. LG (18 per cent) regained the market lead over Samsung (15.5 per cent).
BenQ (12.3 per cent) jumped up a place to third. Mitsubishi (10.9 per cent) climbed from seventh to fourth while Philips (10.7 per cent) rounded out the top five.
Despite the gloom of the third quarter, IDC predicted that the overall market should experience positive growth of five per cent in the fourth quarter, Clement said.