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Monitor shipments down; LCDs up

Desktop-monitor shipments slip 12 percent from the last quarter of 2002 to the first quarter of this year, but the market share for liquid-crystal displays jumps, a report says.

Despite a general downturn in shipments of desktop-computer monitors, shipments of liquid-crystal displays surged in the first quarter of the year, according to a new report.

LCD monitors, also called flat-panel monitors, accounted for 37 percent of overall desktop monitor shipments in the first quarter, up from 30 percent in the last quarter of 2002, according to a study by market research firm DisplaySearch. The number of LCD monitors shipped in the first quarter rose 8 percent from the previous quarter to 10.6 million units. DisplaySearch had forecast a 4 percent rise. The LCD monitor figures exclude all-in-one LCD and computer combinations such as the Apple iMac.

Overall shipments of desktop-computer monitors slid 12 percent from the fourth quarter of 2002 to the first quarter, to a total of 28.6 million units. That figure represented a 1 percent decline from the first quarter of 2002.

Market share of the traditional, bulkier cathode-ray tube monitors slid to 62 percent in the first quarter, according to DisplaySearch. CRT monitor shipments dropped 21 percent quarter over quarter and 16 percent year over year to 17.8 million units.

The report comes after bullish predictions for LCD monitors. Earlier this year, market research firm IDC predicted flat-panel monitors for desktop computers would surpass CRT monitors in revenue in 2003. IDC said declining prices, along with aggressive bundling deals from PC makers, have sparked a rise in demand for flat-panel monitors.

Samsung clung to its lead in desktop-monitor shipments, according to the DisplaySearch report. The Korean company's market position hit 13.5 percent in the first quarter, up from 12.9 percent in the fourth quarter of last year. Second-place Dell Computer crept closer, though, moving to a 13.4 percent share position from 12.1 percent. Hewlett-Packard remained third in shipments, with its market share rising from 7.2 percent to 8.5 percent.

Dell led the race to ship LCD monitors, showing a 16 percent share in the first quarter, up from 14.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2002. Samsung lost ground in the LCD monitor segment. Its share dropped from 9.6 percent to 8.9 percent. HP's share of LCD monitor shipments lifted from 5 percent to 7.5 percent.

Europeans in particular were keen to snap up thin monitors, according to DisplaySearch. LCD monitor shipments in Europe rose 19 percent while shipments in North America declined 3 percent. As a result, Europe overtook North America to become the largest market for LCD monitors.