Smartphones take large LCDs out of the game

May 21, 2014 // By Julien Happich
The effects of the penetration of portable smart devices has brought LCD monitor shipments to an historical 10-year record low in the first quarter (Q1) of 2014, reports NPD DisplaySearch in its Quarterly Desktop Monitor Shipment & Forecast.

The market analyst firm says the total desktop monitor shipments reached only 34.2 million, a level unseen since the third quarter (Q3) of 2004, when LCD monitors, including CRTs, fell to 33.3 million units.

Desktop monitor shipments in Q1 2014 decreased 3 percent, quarter over quarter (Q/Q), and 2 percent on yearly basis; which was also the tenth consecutive decrease for this market, since the fourth quarter of 2011. This decline actually started in Q4 of 2010, just three quarters after tablet PCs entered the market in Q1 2010.

This combines with the all-time low shipment of LCD TV monitors in 2013 (see - 4K TV broadcasting ends-up on smartphones ).

There are several factors that caused the desktop PC markets to shrink, says NPD DisplaySearch. The desktop monitor market was already a very developed market, with shipments reaching a peak of 180 million in 2007.


Figure: Desktop Monitor Shipment Performance Q1 2004 - Q1 2014 (000s).

Source: NPD DisplaySearch Quarterly Desktop Monitor Shipment & Forecast report, May 2014. Note: CRT monitors were included in this data before 2010.

The effect of notebook PC penetration was moderate, since the replacement from desktop PCs to notebook PCs was gradually happening, even before tablet PCs entered the market, but portable smart devices truly became the biggest disruption to the traditional usage model for personal computing devices. Smartphones and phablets grabbed many end users from the traditional PC and notebook PC consumer markets.

With even greater penetration of mobile PCs in the market, the desktop monitor market would continue to decrease and this trend would also be increasingly difficult to reverse in the coming years.


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