CRT’s big switch

While sales of cathode ray tube monitors are darkening, there are some niches manufacturers think will be bright.

That’s why IBM Corp. has introduced a new 20-inch CRT monitor for graphics markets. The C220p will sell for $899, half the price of the company’s similar sized thin-film transistor

(TFT) LCD panel display.

“”We realize the trend is to TFT and it will probably take over the market,”” says David Yee, national sales and brand manager for visuals, options and services in IBM Canada’s PC division.

In fact he believes by the end of this year half of the company’s monitor sales will be LCD models.

“”But we think certain verticals will continue looking at CRTs — those industries not constrained by desktop real estate, and those interested in controlling cost.””

According to Michelle Warren of Evans Research, the number of CRT monitors sold in Canada last year dropped 24 per cent compared to 2002. The biggest decline was in 15-inch models, which plunged 49 per cent, followed by 17-inchers — which made up 76 per cent of all CRT sales — which dropped 29 per cent. These are the markets that LCD is taking over.

This year overall CRT sales are expected to fall another 26 per cent.

However, Warren adds that shipments of models 19 inches and larger aren’t expected to decline as much as the small sizes, which is why manufacturers like IBM will continue to make new models in that segment. Also, some analysts also argue that CRT still has an advantage over LCD in rapid refresh and colour range.

Warren says LCD’s “”cool factor”” and quickly dropping price are squeezing CRT’s out.

But, she adds, CRT’s technology is “”good, proven, solid,”” and perfect for price- conscious buyers.

That’s what IBM is counting on. The C220p offers a better contrast ratio, richer detail and colour over the model it replaces, as well as a 25 per cent saving on the price, says Yee.

Sam Miller, ViewSonic Corp.’s director of technical marketing, says CRTs are still in demand in the education market as well as graphics.

But the company also believes that by 2007 sales of CRTs will be 10 per cent of their peak.

Evans forecasts Canadian LCD sales this year will be 1,235 units, a 59 per cent increase over 2003 and a single point under half the entire market.

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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