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19-Inch LCDs Dominate Flat-Panel Category

Bigger is better when it comes to LCD monitors, according to a recent report by the research firm Current Analysis.

According to the company, 19-inch LCD monitor sales outstripped those of its 15-inch cousins during the third quarter of this year. Overall, LCD growth during the period increased 70 percent, compared to the same period during 2004. Christian Dias, Current Analysis’ display analyst, does not expect this trend to continue in the fourth quarter.

“The demand for LCD monitors is bright. However, year-over-year growth for the fourth quarter will be more modest then that of the third quarter, as the fourth quarter was 2004’s most successful,” he said.

This is not going to slow the holiday selling season promotional engine. Dias expects 17-inch and 19-inch monitors to hit retail price points of $149 and $169, respectively. In 2004 the least expensive 17-inch LCD cost $189, while the 19-inch was $349.

Driving LCD sales during the third quarter was increased promotional activity and continued falling prices.

Back-to-school promotions, particularly for the 19-inch models, were up 76 percent from the prior year. Meanwhile, across-the-board LCD prices fell 36 percent with 19-inch models dropping 42 percent. Dias attributed the price fall off to an oversupply situation that existed through the first quarter of 2005.

Another factor pushing 19-inch sales was the price delta between those models and the smaller 17-inchers shrank.

The end result has 19-inch monitors controlling 25 percent of the category, up from 13 percent in 2004. The 15-inch LCDs fell to 23 percent from 25 percent. 17-inch models still control the category, but market share declined to 51 percent this year, down from 60 percent in 2004.