LCDs gain ground against CRT monitors, study finds

Tired of chunky CRT (cathode ray tube) monitors taking up space on their desks, users increasingly are turning to flat-panel LCDs (liquid crystal display) instead, according to a study released Thursday.

LCD sales increased 8 percent from the fourth quarter of 2002 to the first quarter this year, research company DisplaySearch said. Shipments of 10.6 million units gave LCDs a 37 percent share of the display market, up from 30 percent the previous quarter, the Austin, Texas, research company said.

Sales grew for both stand-alone LCDs and those that come bundled with computers, but sales of stand-alone displays grew twice as fast, the company said.

The move to LCDs meant a decline for CRT monitor sales. CRT shipments fell 21 percent from the fourth quarter of 2002 to the first quarter of 2003, and 16 percent from a year ago, DisplaySearch reported. Total CRT sales for the year were 17.8 million units, accounting for 62 percent of all shipments, the company said.

A final 0.9 percent of shipments was accounted for by LCD PCs, where the screen is built into the computer itself, such as on some of Apple Computer Inc.'s computers, Sung Eun Park, an analyst with DisplaySearch said Thursday.

Overall, desktop monitor sales fell 12 percent quarter on quarter and 1 percent over the year to 28.6 million units. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. was the top desktop monitor supplier, with 13.5 percent, with Dell Computer Corp. following close behind on 13.4 percent and HP on 8.5 percent.

Europe was the fastest growing market, growing 19 percent, while sales in North American fell 3 percent. This helped Europe to overtake North America as the largest LCD monitor market, DisplaySearch said.

By size, shipments of 15-inch displays fell 5 percent, while 17-inch SXGA (Super Extended Graphics Array) LCD shipments rose 41 percent, driven mainly by growth of 54 percent in Europe, DisplaySearch said.

Dell boosted its share of the worldwide LCD market to 16 percent in the first quarter, up from 14.7 percent in the same period a year earlier, DisplaySearch reported. It remained the top vendor in North America and boosted its position from second place to first place in Europe. Its market share ranking fell in Japan, however, from fifth to sixth.

Samsung was the number two vendor worldwide in the first quarter, although its share fell from 9.6 percent to 8.9 percent, DisplaySearch said. Third-place Hewlett Packard Co. saw its share of the world market rise from 5 percent to 7.5 percent.

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