Sunday, December 19, 2004

CRT monitors still hanging on !

At the beginning of the year, a number of analysts predicted that LCD monitors would continue to get cheaper, which actually happened, and that their sales could possibly overtake CRT monitors.

Apperantly, with the year 2004 drawing to a close, that is not the case. So far, CRTs are outselling LCDs, and not just because of their lower price. Many customers are actually requiring them and refusing to shift, as of yet, to LCD. Still, LCD is steadily gaining ground and CRT gradually losing, but at a slower pace than expected.

Viewsonic, one of the world largest monitor manufacturers claims that it enjoyed a 10% increase in CRT shipments worldwide, totaling 2.5 million for 2004.

Not even Viewsonic could have predicted that as they braced for a downfall in sales, due to predictions last year that there would be a drop in sales of no less than 14 million units between 2003 and 2004. There was, in fact, a drop; but only by eight million units.

The markets in our part of the world, the Middle East and North Africa, are expected to see more CRT and LCD growth as the countries of the region are emerging PC markets in which user requirements and tastes have not matured yet, in addition to the obvious advantage CRT monitors hold in terms of price.

There are exceptions. Viewsonic says that countries like Qatar haven't been good markets for CRT units recently, signaling the start of a shift in all GCC states.
So far business buyers are willing to consider LCD monitors, for the elegance and economy in desk space that they offer; therefore, markets with huge business and governmental markets, compared to the home consumer market, actually show very strong percentages of LCD vs. CRT sales.

That why in markets like Egypt, were there are potentially millions of consumers, CRT monitors are substantially ahead of LCDs and are expected to remain that preferred choice for several years.

So, the 'good old tube' continues to be the choice of the majority of computer users, while the LCD gradually eats into that lead year-on-year.

Specific features of LCDs which have improved have been the angle of view which is becoming wider reaching around 160 degrees in the latest models. That was always the first and most obvious advantage of CRTs. Now it’s dissappearing.

Other issues have been ‘color purity’ and contrast. CRT’s are still the choice of design and art professionals, as the richness of color they offer is unrivalled by LCDs, but the average user can’t really tell the difference most of the time!

As for contrast, recent LCD models have come very close to CRT, as they offer ‘high contrast’, which means you get black as black rather than dark grey. High contrast is most important for gaming and movie playback.

Is anyone betting that 2005 will be the year that LCDs overcome CRTs? Obviously not, as analysts realize that the latest display technology isn't, necessarily, what every user wants or needs. That general rule can be applied to every new item of PC hardware on the market today.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home