PMA Research, the worldwide projector market information company, has reported that total projector volume reached 9.5 million in 2012, a slight increase over 2011 as growth in emerging market countries was mainly offset by challenging conditions in developed markets.
In what PMA calls the ‘Mainstream’ category (1,000-3,999 lumens), education tenders continued to boost sales in Asia, particularly in the ASEAN countries, India, and the Philippines. Projector sales in China finished the year on a strong note after the slowdown in mid 2012 that mirrored the slowdown in economic activity. Similarly, the projector market in Brazil managed to end 2012 with some momentum after struggling earlier in the year. Initial projector shipments for Brazil’s ProInfo program started in the fourth quarter and are expected to drive volumes higher in 2013.
In North America and Western Europe, constrained education funding impacted overall projector sales though interactive projectors and ultra-short-throw models remained as bright spots in these regions. These two mainstream segments — interactive projectors and ultra-short-throw projectors — finished the year up more than 30% on a worldwide basis as growth also accelerated in emerging market countries.
Sales of High-End projectors (4,000+ lumens) continued to outperform the Mainstream market. Sales of super-bright models used in conference rooms and large venues registered a double-digit gain in 2012. While regional differences persist in the resolution and brightness mix of the high-end market, the segment as a whole performed well on a worldwide basis thanks to product depth and breadth that satisfied budgets and venues of all sizes, said PMA. In the other segment of the high-end market, cumulative d-cinema shipments finished the year closing in on the 100,000 milestone. Digital conversions and new cinema construction in China, India, and Latin America along with the introduction of lower-cost projectors for smaller exhibitors will be the engines of future growth, PMA believes.
In the New Era (sub-1,000 lumens) range, worldwide unit sales hit 1.7 million. Sales of pico projectors were sluggish earlier in the year but managed to finish the second half of with an impressive 35% gain. Personal projectors also finished the year on an upswing as more vendors crossed the 500-lumen threshold in compact form factors.