Total sales of interactive whiteboards (IWBs) for 2006 were down on 2005’s figures, but vendors insist lucrative opportunities still exist in the IWB space for resellers.
According to figures from analyst Decision Tree Consulting (DTC), 83,000 units were sold last year compared with 99,000 in 2005.
Colin Messenger, senior consultant at DTC, told CRN: “UK sales did not increase on 2005 last year because in the UK the IWB market is maturing. However, it is still a big market.”
Steve Dracup, director of partner management at IWB distributor Promethean, said: “There are still half of all classrooms without IWBs so education is still a massive market for them. The refresh market is also starting to kick off. All-in-one IWB systems with short-throw projectors are helping to drive the refresh market.”
Resellers could also benefit from recent funding from the Scottish Executive, which has created a surge in IWB sales in Scotland.
“Both us and Steljes have seen a boom in sales of IWBs in Scotland thanks to this funding,” Dracup said.
Alex Goudge, marketing manager at Hitachi Interactive Solutions, said: “The education market in Scotland is taking off and we’re also experiencing an increase in activity in both Ireland and Northern Ireland for IWBs.”
The corporate market has been identified for some time as the next big area for IWBs and DTC predicts inroads will be made into the corporate space during 2007.
“Corporate is definitely a key market for us this year,” Goudge said. “The margins are good for resellers in the corporate space because it involves a lot of training and installation.”
Lee Bevan, managing director of IWB VAR Leapfrog Computers, said: “We’ve always focused on both education and corporate. Education is becoming a bit saturated, but the large majority of corporates still don’t know what IWBs are.”
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