An Australian IDC analyst has warned it could be slow year for the PC and branded monitors market unless vendors introduce more technically advanced monitors at cheaper price points.
The comments follow the release of the latest figures on sales of monitors during Q4, 2005. The report found the PC monitor market fell by four per cent compared to Q3, while the branded segment declined by three per cent. Overall, the total market fell by four per cent.
Samsung led the vendor list for Q4. IDC hardware analyst, Mercie Clement, said it grabbed most of its market share due through aggressive pricing and rebate structure within the channel and retail. BenQ, which had led during Q2 and Q3, fell back to fourth position. In contrast, Philips dropped from its third position in Q4, 2004 (12.4 per cent) to sixth (8.2).
"In Q2 and Q3 there were specific reasons for BenQ's rise because they won a few tenders but Samsung has been quite successful in the retail market," she said. "That was to the detriment of BenQ and the other vendors that lost market share during the quarter."
Clement's forecast for this year was conservative.
She said PC vendors would continue to stoop down to 10 per cent, while the standalone market was forecast to decline by about 14 per cent by the fourth quarter this year.
"High-end vendors have been declining year-on-year because it is really difficult for them to survive in a market that is so commoditised, mature and price driven," she said. "Aside from the seasonal spikes where there will be demand, the market is expected to be quite slow for the rest of the year."
PC vendors would eventually cannibalise branded vendors market share due to the ability to bundle monitors with desktops, Clement said.
"They are hitting the sweet spot as far as pricing goes and they are gaining more access to cheaper monitors," she said.
Clement said vendors were now focusing on pricing and widescreen monitors. This push was beginning to gain traction and would stimulate slight growth.
"There is no huge impetus for growth in the monitor market or huge technological advancement but widescreens are one area where lots of players have jumped on the bandwagon," she said.