Replacement buying helps double sales of LCD screens in 2007

Replacement buying helps double sales of LCD screens in 2007

Manufacturers of computer screens say that demand for LCD, or liquid crystal displays, has doubled in 2007 from 2006 as thinner and sharper screens attracted new and replacement buyers in India.

Replacement sales are estimated by some to be about 20% of the annual market.

The move towards more computer LCD screens was also triggered by deep price cuts in monitors.

Total sales of LCD monitors in 2007 crossed 3.5 million, estimates one executive of Samsung India Electronics Pvt. Ltd. While year-end data from independent sources is not available yet, in the three quarters through September, research firm International Data Corp. estimated 2.64 million LCD monitors were sold in India, about the same number of the conventional cathode ray tube-based (CRT) monitors in the same period.

About two years ago, a 17-inch LCD monitor was priced at Rs17,000 while a CRT version monitor was available for Rs5,500. The LCD monitor now costs around Rs10,000 while the CRT monitor has fallen by about 10% to about Rs5,000.

“The advancement of technology and economy of scale has helped in bringing down the price for LCD monitors," said R. Manikandan, a sales and marketing general manager at LG Electronics India Pvt. Ltd. The company claims to be the second largest player in LCD monitors, with around a 12% share of the market.

Sale for LCD monitors overtook CRT for the first time in the quarted ended June with 51.4% of the 1.73 million monitors sold, according to data IDC India. The market share for LCD monitors rose to 52.3% out of 2.04 million monitors sold in the quarter ended September.

“The LCD monitor category is doing well in the metros and the large cities," said Sanjay Sharma, a vice president of sales at Samsung India. “CRT monitors are still in demand in smaller towns." 

Samsung, the market leader in monitors with a 16.8% share, says it has seen 100% growth in sales of its LCD monitors. Samsung predicts that nearly two-thirds of all monitors sold in India will be LCD this year.

Even as some companies phase out CRT monitors, that scenario is unlikely in India.

“We don’t see, in the next two to three years, that it will be phased out," says Pankaj Chawla of IDC India