The global B2B Large Format Display (LFD) market reached 576,000 units in CY Q1 2014 representing ‘YoY’ growth of 8.5%, ‘QoQ’ growth stands at less than 1% with the majority of markets posting similar volumes to CY2013 Q4, according to the latest research from Futuresource Consulting. This is a good result for the market where CYQ1 is traditionally the year’s weakest quarter.
“The EMEA region maintains a positive outlook for growth, with screen volumes of 162,000 units matching a strong CYQ4 2013 performance,” says Ben Davis, Market Analyst at Futuresource Consulting. “The region posts ‘YoY’ growth of 10% with the Western European markets of France and the UK the stand out performers.
“The Americas returns a relatively stagnant performance, the US market remaining soft with both annual and quarterly growth rates marginally in the red. Brazil and its increasing demand for signage solutions fuelled by the impending World Cup and 2016 Olympics remains a bright spot for the region, the territory returning a ‘YoY’ growth rate in excess of 50%.
“The Asia Pacific region closes the quarter with a total volume of 252,000 units driven by strong performances in the major markets of China, Korea and India. The Asia Pacific region shows the greatest propensity for growth this year with total 2014 volumes forecast to reach 1.1 million units and 20% growth on 2013 volumes,” says Davis.
Entry level and mid-range products continue to gain traction in the market. Demand for 24/7 operating product remains stagnant with 24/7 capable displays accounting for less than 50% of total market volumes during the quarter.
The trend is evident across all regions but most pronounced in developed markets like those of North America and Western Europe. As these markets mature and the applications for LFD diversify into non 24/7 operating scenarios the data increasingly highlights the trend towards customers trading down to lower grade screen solutions that do not require 24/7 operation.
“With a number of vendors expected to expand their mid and entry level product ranges in the near future, non 24/7 operating screens are expected to account for the majority of volume growth in the mid-term,” says Davis.
Super Narrow Bezel (SNB) products retain their strong position in the market as a driver for volume growth with quarterly volumes reaching 126,000 units, a 36% growth on the year previous. Quarterly growth for the segment stands at 13% with strong demand from both retail and corporate lobby applications driving growth in the sector.
Volume growth is observed across each of the major SNB screen size categories with 55 inch solutions expected to take an increasing share in the segment. 55 inch solutions accounted for 24% of video wall volumes in CYQ1 2014. In the longer term, 44 and 47 inch solutions are expected to come under increasing pressure from large 4K displays with declining prices on 80+ inch solutions, offering a viable alternative to 2X2 matrices.
“With a number of vendors expected to bring a 4K product to market during 2014, those with products already released enjoyed a strong quarter, 4K volumes posting double digit growth rates on the previous quarter.
“The adoption of 4K resolutions in larger screen sizes is expected to be high with 80% of 60+ inch screens sold globally in 2018 expected to support the resolution. Smaller screen size categories are expected to show lower rates of adoption with the price differential for 4K in the volume segments of the market expected to help maintain demand for 1080p. That said, Samsung’s 2014 ISE announcement that their 4K range will start at 40 inches is an early sign the market leader will take an aggressive stance on the introduction of the technology,” says Davis.
From a holistic market perspective, demand for 720p solutions continues to decline accounting for 10% of total market volumes, down from 18% a year previous. 1080p strengthening its position as the market standard at 88% of total volumes.