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Analysis: flat panel and projector market shows growth

Overall display market growth attributed to uptick in weatherproof, 24/7 digital signage and laser phosphor projectors

PMA Research has published its latest sell-through tracking report on large-format (32in and larger) flat panel displays and projectors being sold by leading US AV/IT distributors who serve commercial markets.

For 4Q2018 combined display sales ended the year strongly, with unit sales up 8% and revenues up 10% over 4Q2017. In total, 2018 finished slightly slower in the second half of the year, but still well above 2017 sales figures with unit sales and revenues both up nearly 20%.

Fourth quarter unit sales have historically been stronger for FPDs than for projectors and 4Q2018 was not an exception. FPD sales grew to 55% of total units and more than 60% of total revenues in 4Q2018. For the year, display sales were split 50/50 between the two technologies, the same as 2017. Revenue share for FPDs remained around 60% and projector revenues remained about 40% for the total year – essentially the same mix as the 2017 year-end figure.

Average pricing for 55-59in FPD displays remained very high as a significant number of expensive, high-brightness, weatherproof digital signage displays are sold in that size range. Beyond those signage sales, growth in sales of 75-79in FPD displays doubled in 2018 as prices fell by high single-digits through the year. Laser phosphor projector pricing fell 12% from 4Q2017 to 4Q2018 as total volume grew 1.5x during that timeframe.