Big screen display market on an overdrive

Channel Post MEA speaks to regional display market experts who say that though the overall demand for PC monitor has decreased, the need and usage of such products has become more specialised and that’s what’s driving the demand

The battle has officially begun: products such as laptops, tablets and smartphones are taking a toll on the regional display market. In addition, the market shift to LCD widescreen displays, LED backlights, touchscreen interfaces, multifunction monitors with TV tuner, 3D displays, shifts in aspect ratios, new usage models, or bundles with notebooks is driving major changes in the monitor market itself.

Thomas Schade, Vice President EMEA, MMD Monitors & Displays
Thomas Schade, Vice President EMEA, MMD Monitors & Displays

“Traditionally, the MEA market has been very much driven by small screen sizes,” says Thomas Schade, Vice President EMEA, MMD Monitors and Displays. “What we see now is that this market is changing rapidly to larger screen sizes. The share of large screens above 22-inch has almost tripled in the last four quarters and is now representing one third of the market, with 23- and 23-inch as main drivers of the growth. This development offers a lot of opportunities.”

According to Schade, nowadays, people do not only seek larger screen sizes but also look out for solutions that can improve their daily life such as ergonomics, power consumption, and productivity. “Fortunately, this development can and will deliver better margins for the channel and also for the industry. So we expect overall profitability of monitors to increase in the coming years,” adds Schade.

Manish Bakshi, the Managing Director at BenQ Middle East and Africa, says that monitors present on the market today are mostly for business and gaming sectors. “Although the overall demand for the PC monitor segment has decreased, the need and usage has become more specialised with a few prominent players. We have seen an increase in the demand for 24-inch and 27-inch monitors,” explains Bakshi. “BenQ’s R&D is concentrating efforts to bring innovative models to satisfy the demand on the market.”

Mobility Products Affecting Display Market?
The decline of the PC has been well documented for many years now. Tablets and smartphones are slowly eating into the PC market’s previous dominance of computing. As a result of this certain markets are slowing down that are associated with PCs and PC monitors is one of those. According to the latest report by IDC (International Data Corporation) the estimates for PC monitors shipped in Q1 of 2013 had to be reduced from 34.7 million to 33.8 million due to reduced demand.

Manish Bakshi
Manish Bakshi, Managing Director, BenQ Middle East and Africa.

In its report, IDC also said that for 2013 as a whole, the total number of shipments will drop from 140.1 million to 134.4 million which is a 9.9% year on year decline from 2012. Furthermore by 2017 worldwide shipments may fall as low as 113.6 million per year. The continued decline in PC desktops is bringing about changes in strategy and product focus in the PC monitor market. With Windows 8 operating system, we can expect to see more touch-based monitors although price points are a little high. Average screen size of the market is also expected to increase to 21.4″ in 2017 from 20.4″ in 2012.

According to Schade, the PC monitor market has shown growth in 2011 and 2012, despite the undisputed uptake growth of ultrabooks, tablets, smartphones, and so on. “Larger displays, though, are still needed and searched by consumers. Hence, we expect this trend to continue in line with economic development. The trend we see that within the monitor screen market larger screen sizes are more and more demanded,” adds Schade.

Feature-Rich Products Can Spur Demand
Good customer service and feature-rich products could spur demand for display products, says Schade. “To be competitive we focus on elements such as integrated development, economies of scales, growth, and so on. For us sacrificing on customer support is not an option because we are interested in long-term and consistent growth,” says Schade. “We believe high end monitors will show an excellent development as they are in the B2B area, which has more and more requirements for better resolution and ergonomics. High end monitors with 3D capability is still a niche market and a relatively young segment which finds its audience among different consumer groups who want to explore such experience. Therefore, we also have such offering in our product portfolio where we position them mainly at the gaming sector.”

Bakshi adds that BenQ today offers various models that suit the market needs. “These are gaming, CAD and CAM, medical, and flicker free monitors. We also provide monitors for DIY, system integrators, LFRs, SOHO, and so on,” explains Bakshi. “In the Middle East, the demand for monitors catering to the gaming community has been growing in the past years. Hence, we offer products such as the BenQ XL2420T monitor, which is highly tailored and is considered among the best monitors by majority of the gamers in the region.  We also launched a new segment of monitors designed to cater to health buffs. The BenQ 27-inch GW2760HS VA LED monitor features a sophisticated slim design packed with innovative flicker-free technology.”

In order to capture market share and register new customers, many display companies have now started to focus upon bundling new technologies with their display products. For instance, recently, Samsung launched its premium Series 9 Monitor (SB970) in the Gulf, which boasts ‘Natural Color Expert’ technology that offers consumers an accurate, true-to-life color and an ultimate viewing experience with 2560X1440 Wide Quad HD (WQHD) resolution.

Each Series 9 Monitor from Samsung comes with built-in calibration technology and is professionally pre-color tuned and ready to use for consumers. Samsung also brought the 550 and 750 Series LED Monitors to Gulf markets, which both utilize Mobile High Definition (MHL) technology, enabling users to instantly view their mobile content in Full HD on a larger screen size.

“We have two strong brands with Philips and AOC monitors. We are committed to innovate the monitor category in order to create more demand and improve the customer experience,” adds Schade. “As people are different and their requirements are different, it is key for every supplier but also for the channel to have a broad portfolio of products available to cover the different customer needs exactly.”