During 2008, projectors continued to be one of the few IT product groups that managed to stave off many of the challenges presented by the turbulent economic climate.
As a result, the projection sales segment for the year 2008 achieved a four
per cent growth rate by value and a 23 per cent growth rate by number of units
compared with 2007.
Perhaps appropriately, with 2008 celebrating the 20th anniversary of LCD technology breaking into the market, LCD projectors retained a strong position.
However, LCD projector units continued to lose share to digital light processing (DLP) technology, which held 57 per cent growth in volumes sold for the year.
Focusing on the business sales sector incorporating sales through IT
IT mail order and AV specialists, which account for more than 70 per cent of
projector sales in 2008 the share of models with close or short-throw projection functionality rose to a peak of four per cent in December.
This increase was driven by the LCD technology-based projector segment, in which close or short-throw projection models proportionally accounted for a much larger share than the overall market.
Some 7.5 per cent of all LCD projectors sold in December 2008 were close-projection models. Another feature that seems to be performing particularly well when it comes to LCD projector sales is that of wireless capability.
Some 6.5 per cent of LCD models sold in December incorporated the technology.
Although LCD technology held a dominant position over DLP last year, 2008 saw the sales swing towards DLP, which held a 51 per cent volume share in business to business channel sales.
The fourth quarter of 2008 was the first time we saw sales of a new type of
projector: pocket projectors.
Having been demonstrated at the likes of the giant Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas earlier in the year, pocket projectors are only about the size of a mobile phone yet some models can project an image of up to 50in across.
Possibly perceiving the size as a key mobile offering for professionals on the move, various manufacturers are looking into launching their own stand-alone pico projectors in 2009.
Initial sales figures have not been staggeringly high, but there are signs that consumers are interested in these products. Initial sales have been predominantly via retail channels, which held an 80 per cent volume share for that category in December.
This would suggest that the gadget appeal of these products is motivating early adopters. Initial reviews have shown that there are some teething problems with the available product lines, but there remains scope for such projector sales to soar in 2009 and beyond.
An example is the Optoma Pico PK101 pocket projector, which really can fit in your pocket and can project videos from a media player, mobile phone, digital camera or PDA at up to 60in.
Today saw 14 of the UK IT channel's biggest hitters come together to determine the winners of CRN's WiC awards. But what does being a WiC judge actually involve? Doug Woodburn reports
'Smaller firms may struggle to keep up with Microsoft's innovation with Dynamics' says CEO Stuart Fenton after acquiring assets from Profile Enterprise Solutions
Pete Peterson admits the firm hasn't always been the 'easiest company to do business with'
New chief exec Aaron Painter says 'longer-term strategy' could see firm tackle the Asian market