Menlo Park, CA–Pacific Media Associates, the global market information experts on large-screen displays, reported in the companys Quarterly Front Projector Market Outlook that combined worldwide professional and consumer front projector shipments topped 1.22 million in the third quarter of 2006. According to Pacific Media Associates, the industrys third-quarter performance tops the previous high set back in the fourth quarter of 2005 and sets expectations for another record high in this years fourth quarter.
The emerging markets of Latin America, Eastern Europe, and China drove most of the front projector growth in the third quarter, said Michael Abramson, VP of Pacific Media Associates. In these markets, attractive entry-level pricing for traditional SVGA and XGA projectors continues to tap demand in professional organizations such as education, business, and government.
While overall market growth in the U.S. and Western Europe slowed a bit from the sizzling pace set in the first half of the year, sales of New Era projectors registered sharp gains in developed markets. Sell-in of instant theaters was particularly strong in the U.S. thanks to sub-$1,000 pricing, the introduction of an enhanced model, the launch of a new unit with a super-close lens, and growing market demand for the true home entertainment experience. The consumer market also saw initial shipments commence for affordable 1080p HD projectors that–along with highly competitive pricing for 720p projectors–are poised for rapid growth in the U.S. and Europe during the upcoming holiday season.
Another New Era segment, professional widescreen projectors for all applications and budgets, showed robust year/year growth in Western Europe, North America, Australia, Japan and Korea. We also expect some announcements soon for additional entrants in other New Era categories such as video boomboxes and pocket projectors. Combined with the recent strength in instant theaters and the professional widescreen market, this will make the next 12 months a watershed year in the New Era of front projection, said Abramson.
Looking at third-quarter performance on a regional basis, the Americas remained the leading region for the fourth quarter in a row with a solid double-digit, year/year gain, and captured 43 percent of worldwide sell-in shipments. Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) represented 32 percent of the worldwide market. The third quarter is traditionally the slowest quarter of the year in EMEA, and this past quarter was no exception. Expectations are that growth in professional XGA and consumer 720p models will spark EMEAs typical year-end buying spree. Projector sales in Asia turned in another double-digit gain to jump to 25 percent of the world market.