Established replacement lamp vendors and distributors have welcomed Ingram Micro's launch of its own V7-brand projector lamps into Europe and the UK.
Andy Read, sales and marketing director at replica lamps vendor Diamond Lamps, said that each new entrant helps increase awareness of alternatives and helps grow its market.
"We do welcome more competition," he said. "We were the first to market with aftermarket lamps from the original manufacturers built into replica cages. At the time our aim was to stop the spread of copy lamps by offering a lower cost OEM alternative with equal performance. The last five years has seen little growth."
Opportunities for growth still exist, especially as projector sales are rising. Read remained quietly confident that Diamond Lamps would retain share.
"Our lamps are as good quality as any genuine-inside lamps can get. I don't want to speculate on the quality of theirs," Read said.
David Johnson, general manager of Maverick Europe [pictured, below], which distributed lamps via its Hotlamps subsidary, agreed.
"We always welcome competition as it encourages innovation and creativity," he said. "There are also still a lot of legacy projectors so I don't see business dropping for some time."
He added that it was a fairly mature and specialised market.
"It would appear V7 only has and plans to have a limited number of lamp SKUs," Johnson said. " We cover 100 brands of projector, over 2,000 lamp SKUs supporting 5,000 projector models. We supply 13 countries."
Simon Kitson, at distributor Just Lamps, noted that competition may drive prices and margins down in the already well-served market.
"However, I welcome that V7 is promoting genuine lamps or from OEM IP, as is the case with us. I'd rather see a new competitor taking this approach than introducing inferior copies," Kitson said.
He added that growth was possible further east, reflecting greater projector sales over the last few years, but the UK was rather flat - exacerbated by falling projector prices and longer lamp warranties.
"We sell lamps sourced directly or Diamond Lamps containing the original bulb. Resellers also get added value services. It will be interesting to see how Ingram's total package compares."
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