Desktop Color LCDs > 30"
Samsung extended its momentum from the 19-to-30 inch LCD arena to the greater-than-30-inch segment, coming in as the best-selling vendor in large-format displays for the first six months of 2007.
Samsung leapfrogged NEC Display Solutions by growing its market share by more than 15 percent; at the same time, NEC's market share declined by about 15 percent. Samsung has been working to expand its channel program while NEC, which has continued to maintain a consistent program for solution providers, underwent a significant restructuring in its U.S.-based display solutions business earlier this year.
Samsung, which grew its market share more than any other vendor, saw its overall market share in the space, as measured by data from the NPD/Distributor Track, come in at almost 42 percent, while NEC grabbed second place at almost 36 percent. They were followed, in order, by Sony, Sharp and Philips, which all registered single-digit market share well below the top two vendors.
Sony and Sharp both lost a marginal amount of market share while Philips, which during the first six months of 2006 registered less than 1 percent market share in the channel as measured by NPD, grew to more than 2.5 percent share. As with smaller displays, the 30-inch-and-larger LCD category was marked by aggressive pricing competition and an abundance of vendors, according to solution providers.
"It's definitely much more competitive now," said Josh Coffman, partner in DNA Networks, a Winfield, Ill.-based solution provider. NEC, he said, has traditionally been a strong presence in the digital signage/LCD space, but Coffman acknowledged Samsung has built a strong presence, as well.
"As far as LCDs, Samsung is the top," Coffman said. "And Samsung is competitive in price."
In very large displays, plasma-based systems have traditionally maintained the high ground in the signage market but, Coffman acknowledged, the momentum continues to build for LCDs.
"LCD has definitely been gaining ground, because in the large format space the price point has come down," Coffman said. "Whereas, maybe a couple of years ago, the price was just too high—especially in segments such as 40
inches or larger displays."
Desktop Color LCD > 30"
Color LCDs (19" - 30")
Samsung outgrew all rivals in the 19-inch to 30-inch color LCD segment during the first half of the year, registering growth of 8.7 percent to jump into first place in channel market share in the January to June 2007 time frame vs. the year-earlier period.
In doing so, Samsung, with 22.49 percent of the market, jumped past competitors ViewSonic (18.87 percent) and NEC Display Solutions (15.81 percent) to take the top spot in a segment that's growing more price-competitive. Samsung's gains came as it continued evolving its Power Partner Program, while NEC found itself in the midst of a corporate consolidation between the company's projector and LCD units.
"I hate to say it, because I don't believe people should buy on price, but price has driven a lot of decisions," said Gus Chiarello, PSG manager of Atlantic Business Products, Brooklyn, N.Y. Chiarello said customers have largely come to accept a good—and standard—level of quality in 17-inch and 19-inch LCDs, so differentiation has turned to areas including price. He also said while companies like ViewSonic have remained strong, Samsung has maintained a strong channel program.
"Samsung has also done something smart—they've taken steps to differentiate between their consumer and B2B [LCD] markets," Chiarello said. "And Samsung has had a very strong channel program over the last 12 months."
Color LCD (19" - 30")
Newcomers are trying to make inroads into ViewSonic's lead in the LCD TV category of 30-plus-inch monitors.
While ViewSonic continued to dominate with a 32.16 percent share for the first half, its share slipped 1.31 percent vs. the first six months of 2006. Meanwhile, Sony made the biggest splash in the rankings, according to numbers from the NPD Group/Distributor Track data, which includes Global Technology Distribution Council data.
Solution providers say interest in large-screen LCDs adds another dimension to the booming digital signage market. Todd Swank, vice president of marketing at Nor-Tech, Burnsville, Minn., said he recently installed 42-inch ViewSonic LCDs in 24 local fitness centers. "People in the fitness centers can watch TV while they exercise, but because of the computer capabilities in the monitors, the company can put its own ads on there as well," he said.
-- Craig Zarley
While Hewlett-Packard has once again led the pack in terms of sales volume through distribution in the multifunction printer market in this CMP Channel Best-Sellers survey, Lexmark grew its market share the most, according to the NPD Group/Distributor Track.
Lexmark grew its share 2 percent to 11.4 in the first half of 2007 over the year-ago period.
HP, while grabbing a whopping 61.7 percent share of the MFP market by dollar volume, saw its market share slide from 63.8 percent from the first half of 2006 to the first half of 2007, a decline of 2.1 percent. Xerox came in third with a 1.7 percent increase to 9 percent this year.
Joe Elliot, sales manager at Elliot Services and Peripherals in Conover, N.C., said he thinks HP wins in the name-recognition game, but that Lexmark has better channel support.
Color Laser Printers
Perennial favorite Hewlett-Packard took top marks in the color laser printer market again, coming in as both the best-selling and the fastest-growing manufacturer, according to data from the NPD Group/Distributor Track.
HP held a 57.5 percent dollar volume share, up 2.7 percent from a 54.8 percent share last year.
Last year's fastest-growing color laser printer manufacturer, Oki Data, saw a reversal of fortune as it exited the LFR market after falling 3.8 percent, and began its strategic reinvestment in the channel to drive more profitable growth.
The NPD research tracks the dollar volume of color laser printers sold through certain distributors.
Xerox and Lexmark came in second and third, with a 24.2 and an 8.7 percent market share, respectively. Xerox was down 1.8 percent, while Lexmark grew its share by 1.7 percent.
For VARs selling color laser printers, HP's quality and reputation keep it in the top spot time and again.
"We've had fabulous luck with the HP printers in general. With the laser printers, they have such a long-standing reputation for quality and reliability. They moved into the color print market, and I always saw them delivering the same consistency even in that space," said Tommy Wald, president and CEO of Riata Technologies, a solution provider and MSP based in Austin, Texas.
However, sometimes customers do make requests, or a particular solution will be a better fit depending on which vertical market they're in, he said. Lexmark, for example, has quality business solutions for document management, health care and the legal vertical market. "They probably have better solutions from a business perspective in certain areas," he said.
Color Laser Printer
Once again, InFocus had the largest market share among projector vendors in the CMP Channel Best Sellers survey, but this time Epson is the winner.
According to research from the NPD Group/Distributor Track, InFocus had a 23.3 percent share of dollar volume through certain distributors included in the Global Technology Distribution Council in the first half of 2007, but that was down 6.2 percent from the first half of 2006.
In contrast, Epson has been gaining steadily and, with its 3.7 percent jump in the survey, it now boasts an 18.9 percent share of the projector market by dollar volume.
NEC lost market share, falling 2.4 percent to capture 9.5 percent, and ViewSonic came in fourth with 6.2 percent of the market share. Panasonic broke the top five this year with 5.3 percent of the market, up 2.4 percent.
Gus Chiarello, PSG manager for Brooklyn, N.Y.-based solution provider Atlantic Business Products, has been selling InFocus projectors for more than 10 years and said that InFocus is still the market leader because the company has a reputation for selling the best projectors in the business.
What Hewlett-Packard is to the printer world, InFocus is to projectors.
"If you needed a good projector, you'd go to InFocus. They're synonymous with projection. It's the industry perception," Chiarello said. "They're known to be an industry leader in projection."
The fact that InFocus has been making projectors longer than some other vendors helps keep its sales high, too, he said.
The competition among UPS device makers remains one-sided with American Power Conversion still the market's 800-pound gorilla. But this year, Hewlett-Packard picked up a full percentage point of sales-volume share over the last 12 months.
Yes, HP still has only 1.4 percent of the total sales volume, as measured by the NPD Group/Distributor Track, quite a ways behind APC's 81.3 percent sales volume share. But HP's gain beat APC's 0.4 percentage point gain. And it's a step up from earlier this year when it didn't even break into the top five.
One reseller said the increase is largely due to the HP brand. "If you, the customer, are going to be more comfortable seeing HP servers, HP storage, HP printers—why not HP UPSes?" said Jon Mirkes, corporate sales vice president at Camera Corner/Connecting Point, a Green Bay, Wis.-based solution provider.
APC, nevertheless, remains very popular within the channel. "APC certainly does have its name out there," said Kris Domich, principal consultant with Dimension Data, a global IT services and solution provider. Domich said APC has done a good job developing efficient power conversion products and integrating its UPS products with server cooling technologies.
Tripp Lite picked up 0.3 percentage points in the last 12 months for an 8 percent share of the sales volume. Third-place Powerware, however, lost 0.8 percentage points, for a 2.6 percent sales share, while fourth-ranked IBM lost 0.7 percentage points, with a 1.7 percent share.
-- Rick Whiting