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Record-breaking quarter for interactive whiteboards and flat panel displays

Record-breaking Q3 sales for interactive whiteboards and interactive flat panel displays take the total amount sold globally to nearly 400,000.

Sales of interactive whiteboards and interactive flat panel displays in the education and corporate sectors achieved close to 400,000 displays in Q3 2013. The total figure marks a 3% rise on last year and makes it the largest Q3 on record, according to the latest quarterly research from specialist research company Futuresource Consulting.

“The interactive whiteboard market has grown at a tremendous pace over the last decade. Initially finding a foothold in the UK, Mexico and the USA, the technology is now used across the globe,” commented Colin Messenger, senior market analyst at Futuresource Consulting.

Asia still dominates the market with sales of over 250,000, representing 38% year-on-year growth and accounting for two thirds of the global share, with China amounting 230,000 of those sales. Asia is also forecast to remain the largest region for the next five years with 40% share in 2017. In contrast, the American market is experiencing a decrease of 15% year-on-year. Volumes are forecast to remain flat over the next three years before growth, spurred on by corporate sales, which are currently 18% and forecast to be 43% of the market in 2017.

Futuresource projections have pointed towards phase two of Turkey’s FAITH National Education Project as a set to have a major influence on the industry. The project is scheduled to begin in 2014 and is expected to account for over half of all sales of interactive whiteboards and interactive flat panel displays in EMEA.

“However, FATIH could be a huge loss-making deal for any vendor,” commented Messenger. “There are high risks with signs of instability in the country. The tender specs are very complicated, the investment is huge and the deal is priced in Turkish Lira which has recently devalued and the expected prices are extremely low.”

In the UK, interactive flat panel displays are starting to take market share from interactive whiteboards, and some of the first replacement boards are now being purchased. Twice as many IFPDs were sold this quarter than Q3 last year and by 2016 more IFPDs will be sold than IWBs, which in turn will create the faster value growth, according to Futuresource.

The Global Perspective Futuresource forecasts show that the total display technologies market of interactive whiteboards, interactive flat panels and interactive projectors will exceed one million devices by 2017. However, the adoption rates of the three products are very different by country and even by region (Futuresource has compared all three technologies in 67 countries). “In 2012, over three million tablets were purchased by schools across the globe and this has definitely contributed to increased competition for education budgets. The scale of the corporate space presents a number of alternative opportunities, as there are over twice the number of meeting rooms than school classrooms. As a result, moving forward we see the corporate market as the fastest growing sector, increasing to 24% by 2017, with the growth coming from more developed markets like the USA, UK, Germany and Sweden,” finished Messenger.