LCD monitors gain in popularity

Unit sales of 19-inch LCD monitors in Europe grew by more than 120% quarter on quarter according to figures published in November by UK-based Meko.

This growth rate was nearly twice that predicted by Meko and clearly demonstrates that users are willing to invest in larger displays once they see that the product offers real value for money.

In fact, the average selling price of monitors in this category went up by 15% from just over $1,360 to more than $1,570. This indicates that higher specification products which command higher prices were also in demand.

‘We were a little surprised by the rapid take-up of this class of product’, noted Meko’s Managing Director Bob Raikes. ‘In particular, sales in Italy were very good, increasing more than tenfold with Acer leading the market in that country.’

Elsewhere in Europe, unit sales growth was not as dramatic as in the Italian market. Nonetheless, volumes in the German-speaking countries (Austria, Germany and Switzerland) more than doubled sequentially and in the western regions of Europe strong growth was also seen in countries such as Belgium and Denmark.

Notably, the UK market did not grow as quickly as would be expected, showing only a 32% quarter on quarter increase.

‘The financial and banking sector in the country was one of the major markets for 18-inch LCDs when that class of product first arrived on the market, but it seems that perhaps those companies that invested in large size LCD monitors early on are not yet ready to upgrade’, commented Raikes.

In the 17-inch screen size class, rapid price reductions also boosted the market with a 28% sequential rise in unit sales. Year on year unit sales of 17-inch class LCD monitors in Europe have grown by more than 290% to nearly 500,000 units in Q3 2002. The top three vendors in this class are Dell, HP and Samsung.

The price-sensitive 15-inch segment saw a slowdown in year on year growth with unit sales up 72% compared to Q3 2001. Despite this, unit sales stood at more than 1.5m units and nearly equalled the record high sales of Q4 2001 when average selling prices were actually higher.

By vendor, it was HP that topped the unit sales table in Q3 with Samsung in second place and Dell in third. Of the top three, Dell shows the strongest year on year growth with its volume for the period up by more than 170%.

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