European adoption of large LCD monitors ramps up

DECEMBER 9--The popularity of large LCD monitors with European users is well ahead of expectations, according to the latest data from Meko's DisplayCast market research service (www.meko.co.uk).

DECEMBER 9--The popularity of large LCD monitors with European users is well ahead of expectations, according to the latest data from Meko's DisplayCast market research service (www.meko.co.uk). The results of the analysis of the volume and value market data for Europe, published in the November edition of DisplayCast, show that unit sales of 19-in. LCD monitors grew by more than 120% quarter on quarter. This growth rate was nearly twice that predicted by Meko and 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 more than $1360 to more than $1570. This indicates that higher-specification products that command higher prices were also in demand. "We were a little surprised by the rapid take-up of this class of product," noted Meko MD 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 style-conscious 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-in. LCDs when that class of product first arrived on the market, but it seems that perhaps those companies that invested in large LCD monitors early on are not yet ready to upgrade," commented Raikes.

In the 17-in. screen size, rapid price reductions also boosted the market with a 28% sequential rise in unit sales. Year-on-year unit sales of 17-in. 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-in. 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 1.5 million units and nearly equaled the record high sales of Q4 2001 when average selling prices were actually higher.

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