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LCD monitor sales pedal backward in Q2

Loses share re CRT in UK, France and Spain

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LCD desktop monitor sales in Europe fell for the first quarter ever in Q2 this year. Two quarters of consecutive price rises proved too much for the already weak PC market to bear it seems - In France, Spain and the UK, LCD market share compared with CRTs actually fell in Q2.

But if sales of LCD were down in Q2, the long-term trend is up. Take a gander at CRT desktop unit sales, down more than 20 per cent on Q2, last year, against a backdrop of an overall year-on-year fall of two per cent. Sales of desktop monitors, of all categories, in Q2 were down a whopping 20.9 per cent on Q1 this year.

These figures are supplied by UK consultancy Meko which tracks anything with a pixel. According to its estimates, LCD sales volumes in Europe in Q2 were approx. 1.9 million units, 15.9 per cent down on Q1, 2002. Year on year sales were up more than 130 per cent.

Fifteen-inch LCD monitors sales were particularly badly affected in Q2 with sales down 18 per cent sequentially. Meko notes that the Far Eastern LCD panel makers have moved "more production to larger screen sizes in order to keep average selling prices and margins as high as possible".

But with limited effect: Prices for 17in LCD monitors have "continued to fall as LG Philips LCD in
Korea and a number of Taiwanese panel makers increased availability of this screen size".

The result is that 17in LCD screen sales rose in Q2, the only category to do so. Judging from Meko's figures, 18in screen sales are getting squeezed between the 17in and 19in models. Sales in this category fell by more than 29 per cent sequentially and grew only 82.8 per cent year on year. Meko attributes this to the lack of large volume corporate projects, notably in the UK, France and Germany.

The new 19in LCD screens are coming to market in a variety of shapes and resolutions. Meko is putting its stake in the ground and forecasts that in this category monitors with a "resolution of 1.9 megapixels (1600 x 1200) will win in the end because they increase the visual bandwidth for the user",

The top five LCD monitor vendors by volume in the European LCD desktop monitor market is (in descending order): HP, Samsung, Dell, Philips and Fujitsu Siemens. ®

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