As the HDTV market goes, so too does the LCD monitor market: down.According to preliminary findings from DisplaySearch released Monday, fourth-quarter sales of LCD monitors fell 7.4 percent sequentially and 8.0 percent versus the year before, to 39.6 million units. It marked the first time that LCD sales actually fell from the third to the fourth quarter, according to DisplaySearch.
Within the U.S., sales fell by just 9 percent sequentially, but by a whopping 24 percent from a year ago, to 8.1 million units.
All of the brands that DisplaySearch tracked showed declining sequential sales. Just two – the market leader, Samsung, and fifth-ranked Acer – recorded positive unit growth from the year before. Samsung grew 2 percent year-over-year to a 15.5 percent share, while Dell fell 19 percent during the same period, to an overall 12.5 percent market share. HP and LG finished third and fourth with and 11.8 percent and 9.2 percent market share, respectively. Acer rounded out the top five, growing units 9 percent from Q4'07, for an overall 8.0 percent market share.
DisplaySearch said the reason for the declines wasn't so much that deamnd dipped, but that manufacturers reined in their production. "The decline in end-market shipments in the fourth quarter was less severe than prior market predictions," noted Chris Connery, DisplaySearch's vice president of PC and large-format commercial displays, in a statement. "However, further losses were mitigated by production control, rather than increased end-market demand during the period."
The only region to show positive sequential growth in the period was China, which enjoyed an 11 percent quarter-to-quarter increase, the firm said.
DisplaySearch said in December that the 2009 LCD TV sales could decline in 2009; the firm has not released its estimates for fourth-quarter LCD TV sales, although it confirmed Vizio's claim that it sold the second highest number of flat-screen TVs during the period.
"As 2009 begins, companies in the desktop PC marketplace are not without hope," DisplaySearch wrote. "While historically most have thought of desktop displays as being separate devices connected to a "tower" or external CPU box, a sub-category of all-in-one PCs (also referred to as AIOs or LCDPCs) has also existed in the desktop display category for many years. While these PCs had previously been positioned as higher-end, feature-rich products, a new definition of these products looks to emerge in 2009 and beyond."