Hitachi is withdrawing from the 15in monitor market across Europe, claiming that due to falling prices, margins are too small to make it viable.
Despite admitting that sales of 15in monitors have not experienced a significant fall-off, Hitachi has halted supply to focus on 17in models, which it claims are more in demand among corporates and offer resellers and distributors greater margins.
Mark Wilkin, UK manager for monitors at Hitachi, said: 'Hitachi is the first to pull out of the 15in monitor market, but the reaction has been positive. 15in monitors have become a cheap commodity. Customers are not really interested in the screen quality anymore, just the price. This has put both resellers' and distributors' margins under pressure.'
Hitachi, whose distributors are Westcoast, Ideal Hardware, Direktek and CHS Electronics, has conceded that it will lose significant market share from this decision.
'Hitachi is not concerned about the loss of market share and not really interested in the retail market space. There is a trend towards 17in monitors with corporates. Hitachi can offer these monitors at prices that 15in monitors were not at too long ago and with the same footprint size,' said Wilkin.
Bryan Avory, product manager for monitors at CHS, was positive about the move despite the likelihood that Hitachi sales will drop.
'The 15in market is now the volume market since the 14in virtually died, so Hitachi will lose market share by pulling out, but does it really want to be in that market space when there are only a few pounds of margin in a product?' he said. 'Hitachi sells to corporates and those looking for upgrades rather than providing the standard monitor that comes with a PC.'
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