Screen sales slump

While PC fans were buoyed by the positive news of shipment growth for the first quarter of 2017 – ending eight consecutive quarters of decline – monitors have not seen the same uplift. 

According to IT market analysis company Context, worldwide shipments of desktop monitors declined by 1.1 per cent in the first quarter compared to those a year ago. The firm notes that the the lower end of the market has been shrinking and there has been a shift to larger and more expensive screens.

“The decline in sales was driven by the consumer segment, which dropped -1.8 per cent, while the fall in commercial shipments was smaller at -1.0 per cent”, said Lachlan Welsh, Senior Analyst at Context.

Certainly the focus in the monitor market has transitioned from high resolution screens with fast response rates to more outlandish (and pricier) designs. For example, one of the most celebrated monitors of recent months is the Acer XR382CQK which has a 38-inch panel, a 21:9 aspect ratio and a hefty RRP in excess of £1,000. 

The rise of gaming and design-oriented monitors has unsurprisingly had an affect on the ASP, with prices rising 2 per cent year-on-year. 

23 and above-inch screens accounted for 57 per cent of the global market for the quarter, up from 50 per cent in the same period last year. Full HD makes up almost two-thirds of the global market and continues to be at the top of the food chain. However it’s worth noting that WQHD screens grew an impressive 90 per cent year-on-year, likely due to the increased affordability of the tech. IPS is the strongest growing panel technology, and had a 40 per cent share of the market in the first quarter, up from 30 per cent the year before. 

In terms of regions, shipments to EMEA grew by 2.6 per cent, driven by CEE, which saw 19 per cent growth, with North America being the only other key region to grow. Overall Worldwide the multi-function monitor market declined by 10 per cent year-on-year, in spite of growth in CEE and North America, mainly because of weak sales in Latin America and MEA.

Dell still leads the pack with 18 per cent of the market. with HP and Samsung having 13 per cent and 11 per cent respectively.

While initially you may think it odd that the monitor market has shrunk while the PC market has grown, it was reported that the PC market resurgence can be attributed to the rise in popularity of Chromebooks as they outsold Mac for the first time in 2016. If PC figures continue to increase it would not be a surprise to simultaneously see monitor shipments dwindle as users move towards lower cost ultrabook-like computers that – for obvious reasons – don’t need an external screen to exist. 

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