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LCD monitors surpass CRTs in Q3 2004, DisplaySearch reports

Flat-panel display (FPD) market research and consulting firm DisplaySearch indicated in its latest Quarterly Desktop Monitor Shipment and Forecast Report that worldwide LCD desktop monitor shipments rebounded in Q3' 2004, overtaking CRT monitors with a 50 percent to 49 percent advantage on 12 percent Q/Q and 31 percent Y/Y growth to 16.9 million units. While Q3 '04 witnessed significant panel price reductions beginning in June, these prices were not passed along to consumers and corporate buyers at a street price level until later in Q3'04 due to high channel inventories, causing shipments to fall below 16 percent Q/Q growth expectations. Q4 '04 LCD monitor shipments are expected to rise even faster, growing 18 percent Q/Q to 19.9 million units to earn a 54 percent share.

The inability of the market to quickly adjust to the lower panel pricing helped accelerate CRT demand and sales in Q3 '04, but not enough to allow CRTs to outsell LCDs as they did in Q2'04. CRT shipments did rise 3 percent Q/Q in Q3'04 to 16.4 million units and are expected to rise again in Q4'04 to 16.6 million units on steady demand from emerging countries and in the United States, where the sub $499 PC bundle became an important benchmark for the holiday season. With a sub $499 bundle now achieved with LCD based monitors, however, CRT monitor demand is expected to drop dramatically in 2005.

Additional highlights from the report include:

  • 17in LCD monitors accounted for 50 percent of the sales in Q3 '04, while the15in share dropped to 33.5 percent.
  • The growth and anticipated growth of the wide aspect ratio displays, while still small in Q3 '04, continues to be notable as seen in the announcement and shipment of Apple's new products, as well as Dell's 19in and 20in desktop monitor products entering the market.
  • Of the mainstream LCD monitor sizes, 19in SXGA grew the most in Q3 '04 at 22 percent and is projected to have the largest growth in Q4 '04 up 27 percent, as the street prices reach new lows.
  • 15in LCD monitor shipments are projected to grow just 3 percent in Q4 '04, due to continued allocation shifts toward the larger size displays.

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