Menlo Park, California — Pacific Media Associates (PMA), a global market information analyst of front projector technology has reported that worldwide front projector sell-in shipments were 1.26 million in the first calendar quarter of 2009. That represents a nine-percent decline over the first quarter of 2008, as the impact of the economic recession weighed on projector demand.
There were notable differences in performance on a regional basis. Hardest hit were Eastern Europe and Mid-East/Africa as declining currencies and weak demand for exports impacted local economies and projector demand. The U.S. market also under-performed as sales weakened across most channels. On the positive side, which meant relatively flat year/year performance in the current economic environment, China, Japan, and Western Europe showed signs of resiliency on a year/year basis.
“The first quarter is typically a transitional period in the projector business,” said Michael Abramson, vice president at Pacific Media Associates. “It marks the end of the main corporate and retail buying seasons and the onset of the buying seasons for the education/public sector markets. To this seasonal pattern, add in the global recession, significant currency exchange rate issues impacting manufacturer pricing, tighter credit standards for dealers, and a cautious outlook in the channels. It all led to one of the most volatile quarters the industry has seen to date.”
But despite the tumult of the first quarter, PMA noted that key New Era and Mainstream segments managed to perform quite well. Pico projectors — the tiny, battery-powered gadgets — registered a strong double-digit gain vs. the initial, strong shipments in the fourth quarter. And personal projectors — the new, lightweight companions to laptops and netbooks — began to ramp-up quickly during the quarter. In the mainstream market, sales of short-throw projectors and professional widescreen models — including Wide XGA, 1080p, and Wide UXGA — registered gains on both a year/year and sequential basis.
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