Demand for LCD desktop monitors surges 26 percent

Austin (TX) - LCDs now represent almost six out of ten sold monitors for the desktop, according to a report released by DisplaySearch. Users bought more than 21.2 million desktop LCDs in the fourth quarter of last year, posting a 26 percent growth over the third quarter of 2004.

Aggressive LCD monitor street level pricing in the fourth quarter of last year built the base for a significant sales boost for the monitors and had a negative impact on worldwide CRT monitor demand at the same time. Market research firm DisplaySearch said worldwide LCD desktop monitor shipments rose 26 percent quarter over quarter to 21.2 million units worldwide in Q4 of last year.

LCDs now account for about 57 percent of the total desktop monitor market, which reached slightly more than 37 million units in Q4. Worldwide CRT monitor demand, which was previously anticipated to remain flat in Q4, fell 2 percent to 16 million units, dominated by the sales of 17" flat front CRT devices, DisplaySearch said.

Despite the substantial shipment increase, LCD monitor manufacturers saw their revenues climb by only 10 percent. DisplaySearch attributed this fact to a continued erosion of LCD monitor street level pricing, falling to "magic" price points such as $149-$199 for 15" LCD monitors, $199-$299 for 17" LCD monitors and $359- $399 for 19" LCD monitors.

Dell dominated sales of desktop LCDs with shipments of almost 4.2 million units. Growth of 51 percent translated into a 19.8 percent market share for the company. This is almost twice as large as the second largest player in the market, Samsung, which had 10 percent of the worldwide unit volumes in Q4. Dell's market position is even more dominant in the US, where the company commands a 39.5 percent market share, according to the data released by DisplaySearch.

The worldwide market share ranking is completed by Hewlett-Packard (9.1 percent), Acer (6.2 percent) and LG (6.1 percent). For the US, Hewlett-Packard is second with 9.7 percent, Samsung has 5.4 percent, Viewsonic 4.7 percent and Sony 3.9 percent.