DQW Bureau
16 Feb 2006

At 14% market-share, LCD monitors are expected to grow more than
50% share by 2008

The saying
that goes in the display market-Monitor is the com­puter, holds good in every
sense. A ubiquitous symbol of computing is in the throes of change. When we talk
about computer monitors, the first thing that comes to anybody's mind is those
obese looking CRTs, but in the recent times a subtle transformation of sorts is
happening across the world-the ubiquitous CRTs are slowly giving way to sleek
and slim looking LCD monitors that weighs just about four kilos and fits snugly
on to the desk. While in a developing geography like India, the CRTs still rule
the roost, but what we are seeing now is the escalation of a trend of LCDs
challen­ging the CRT market. This accor­ding to the industry watchers will
happen by 2008 in India, with LCDs garnering a market share of more than 50
percent of the total monitor shipment pie. As we look at the current penetra­tion
levels, of the total monitor shipments, IDC estimates the LCD share at 14
percent during 2005 and is expec­ted to grow to 22 percent by 2006 end. Clearly
the LCDs are the future of display market and a burgeoning one.

Market drivers

With technology characteri­zed by rapid obsolescence cycles, the next
logical evolution of the monitor industry is favorably tilted towards the LCDs.
Over the years the CRT monitors have evolved and with the full flat CRT, the
technology has reached a saturation point, beyond this there is nothing new CRTs
can offer and this technological plateau is driving the LCDs to the limelight.
Prohibitive costs have limited the market adoption of LCDs in the past, but
prices within the Rs 10K mark have expanded the consumer options. The market
right now for the LCD is in industry verticals' like healthcare, hotels,
airports, BPO, and IT. According to industry estimates these verticals consume
more than 80 percent of the LCD moni­tor ship­ments. Says Jitendra Kulkarni,
ceo, Redington India, “LCDs are eating into the CRT market for a variety of
reasons: first, the price gap between the two has come down. Second, the tremen­dous
space saving one can achieve in an office environ­ment. Especially the desk
size can become smaller if one has LCD monitor instead of CRT.”

LCDs Moving In

Year Total
Monitor Shipments (mn)


2004 3.5


2005 4.5


2006 5.5



verticals driving LCDs

  • Educational

  • Software
    and BPO companies

  • Aviation

  • Jewelry

  • Gaming
    and FMCG

cost differential between CRT and LCD is easily justified because of the
shorter payback period of between two to three years, through saving in
space and electricity consumption."

-Jitendra Kulkarni CEO, Redington India

For labor-intensive indus­tries
like BPO, the employee base runs into thousands. So space is a premium and LCDs
becomes an ideal option. Quips Ish Bawa, Marcom Manager, BenQ, “LCD moni­tors
growth is due to the fact that the technology is becoming more affordable .We
are seeing more indus­tries and offices opting for the same keeping in mind the
obvious benefits it has over the CRT technology such as minimal desk space, less
power consumption, no radiation and better dura­bility.” Agrees Huma Ali,
Analyst-monitors-IDC India, “The LCD market would surge ahead driven by
widespread awareness, acceptance and affordability of the technology. 
Consumer markets should pick up due to aggressive promotions, attractive
exchange offers, and increasing awareness about utility.  In the enter­prise
segment, there should be a huge replacement due to falling prices.”

TCO and RoI

Whenever we talk about conventional technology, despite its limitations and
constraints the economies of scale has kept the market in the pink. This is
indeed the lifeline of the CRTs today but a closer look at the tangible and
intangible benefits LCDs brings to table indicate that large and mid size
enterprise monitor buying decisions will increasingly tilt towards the LCDs
during 2006. A CRT to LCD comparison puts the LCDs in the forefront for
instance: a 17-inch CRT costs today around Rs 6K and the LCD at Rs 10K. One
needs to pay a premium of Rs 4K in order to acquire a 15-inch LCD. But the real
value of the LCD lies in the running costs as compared to CRTs over a period of
time. Reflecting on that Kulkarni says, “ The cost differential between CRT
and LCD can be easily justified because of shorter payback period of between two
to three years through saving in space and electricity consumption.”

The LCDs consume less power
compared to CRTs and on an annualized basis enter­prises can save significant
cost savings on power consu­mption up to 40 percent savings on electricity
bills. With commercial per unit tariffs increasing every year, enterprises are
looking at ways to bring down the expenses on administrative costs, and here 15
inch LCDs are expected to gain market traction whenever a monitor buying
happens. Says VR Kirubakaran, National Mana­ger-Display Products, HCL
Peripherals, “LCDs help in down-sizing of UPS' and AC capacity which leads
to significant savings.”

Quips Sunil Murlidharan,
Country Product Manager-TFT LCD monitors, Samsung India “The value
proposition of the LCD Monitors lies in the power saving and the space saving
benefits that are quantifiable, in addition to other benefits like zero
radiation, zero glare pro­perties that reduces eye strain, flexibility of
viewing posture, display and moun­ting makes LCD adoption promising”

In an Indian context, the
vendors are bullish that the inherent benefits will increase the volumes for
LCDs in the days ahead. The OEM is also pushing LCD with PCs. For instance all
PC vendors offer LCD, and position it as value add. The channels meanwhile are
evincing keen interest in pushing more LCDs. The aggressive focus of channels on
LCDs are bound to benefit the enterprises. The reasons channels are focusing on
LCDs is due to the fact that there is a large replacement market, which is an
incre­mental business not availa­ble to those doing only CRT monitors. 
For the same number of monitors sold, one gets almost 100 percent more revenue
than selling same number of CRTs and similarly the channel earns higher margin.
Meanwhile   LCDs take much smaller space in the warehouses and in the
transport vehicles so the logistics costs of doing LCD business are lower than
those for CRT business.

In all the escalation of LCDs
in the monitor charts looks imminent. We have already started seeing it as in
terms of visibility of LCDs-whether in hotels, airports, and whole lot of
places. Analysts see this LCD visibility as a healthy trend that will usher in
more awareness leading to more enterprises going the LCD way.

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