Flat-Panel Display Prices Keep Dropping - InformationWeek

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Flat-Panel Display Prices Keep Dropping

Street prices of LCD monitors continued to fall in the second quarter even as component costs rose slightly.

Street prices of LCD monitors continued to fall in the second quarter even as component costs rose slightly, said DisplaySearch, which released its quarterly display figures Thursday.

The average prices for 15- and 17-inch LCDs -- the two most-popular sizes -- dropped $17 and $21, respectively in the second quarter compared to the first quarter of 2005.

"Street level pricing for LCD desktop monitors remained aggressive in Q2 '05 despite three to four consecutive months of $2-5 component-level LCD panel price increases," said DisplaySearch's report. The falling prices are due in part to the fact that component price increases usually take a quarter before impacting street level pricing, added the report.

The percentage of the total monitor market owned by LCDs climbed again in the second quarter, to 65 percent. As recently as a year ago, fewer LCD monitors were sold than traditional tube-based CRT screens.

Aggressive LCD price cuts pushed the CRT market toward extinction in Europe and the U.S. -- global CRT sales were down nearly 30 percent year to year, and European sales plummeted 59 percent quarter to quarter -- but some price-sensitive markets, particularly China, continued to buy tubes. In fact, China is now the top region for CRT desktop monitors, said DisplaySearch.

Not surprisingly, Dell led all other sellers of LCDs, both world-wide and in North America. In the latter, Dell accounted for 38 percent of all LCD sales.

Another trend, added DisplaySearch, is a gradual move toward larger flat-panel screens. While 15-inch share fell from 19.7 percent to 17.2 percent from first to second quarter, the 19-inch share climbed from 18.3 percent to 21.6 percent. 17-inch models, however, continued to be the sweet spot; 58.1 percent of all flat-panels sold in the second quarter were that size.

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