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According to findings from Everything Channel's 2009 State of Technology: Peripherals survey, VARs who work on the projector side have reason to view the glass as half full--however shaky the macroeconomic climate.
The glimmer of optimism is due, in large part, to increasing sales of mobile projectors. The survey found that three times as many solution providers said it has become easier to sell mobile projectors than last year.
As with notebooks, the portability factor is a strong selling point. VARs have noted an uptick in demand in the SMB space as more and more traveling executives need to set up presentations at trade shows and meetings.
Ranjan DeCosta, CEO of OmniPro Systems, a San Francisco-based solution provider, said he is also seeing increasing demand for mobile projectors in the education sector, most notably in the K-12 vertical.
"Most classrooms do not have projectors," DeCosta said. "Teachers need to carry around presentations with them from class to class, which is easier with a mobile projector."
"This is really significant for VARs as educators are asking for them," ViewSonic's Volpe said. "VARs can capitalize on business that they might not have gotten before."
In the survey, solution providers listed ViewSonic as the projector vendor whose brand they would be most willing to sell or recommend, followed closely by InFocus, Sony, Toshiba and LG. The survey also found the top three brands that offer the best profit opportunity are the brands that sell the most often. InFocus took the top spot in that category.
On the flip side, Dell was named as the brand with the least profit opportunity; in fact, only 15 percent of solution providers surveyed said they sell Dell most often. HP, Sony, Panasonic and BenQ Corp. followed Dell, respectively.
Looking into the VAR crystal ball, those surveyed said they expect to see a 50 percent increase in mobile projector sales in the next 12 months, followed by a 32 percent increase in midsize projectors and a 17 percent gain in sales in large, fixed projectors.