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COVID-19 Set to Put the Brakes on Slowing Western European Monitor Market

Updated: Mar 28, 2020

Dominika Koncewicz, Senior Analyst for Displays at CONTEXT
Dominika Koncewicz, Senior Analyst for Displays at CONTEXT

Production problems caused by the COVID-19 coronavirus could result in a slowdown in monitor sales in Western European business and consumer markets as early as Q2 2020, according to new insight published by CONTEXT, the IT market intelligence company.

After a strong 2019 and start to this year, it was expected that growth would eventually slow in the monitor market later this year. However, that timetable could well be brought forward to the second quarter as factory closures in China due to the virus start to impact supply pipelines.

Assuming these closures are relatively short-term, resulting product shortages could then drive a surge in demand and price rises during Q3 that will make the second half of 2020 the stronger performing part of the year.

However, if COVID-19 continues to seriously affect supply chains and monitor manufacturing hubs, the negative impact on the Western Europe market could last well through 2020.

There are five key display factories located in Wuhan, the Chinese city at the epicentre of the virus outbreak. However, all over the country, labourers are struggling to get back to work at IT production plants given strict quarantining and travel bans.

In 2019, 6% year-on-year volume growth from the business market and a 4% increase in the consumer space helped to ensure a successful year for monitor vendors. The good news continued in January as distributors saw business volume sales up 4% year-on-year, thanks to delayed desktop-based Windows 10 upgrades. More sales in higher price ranges such as 68,6cm and 73,3cm models and those with USB-C ports helped to drive revenues in the business segment to +7% year-on-year in January.

Going forward, it’s likely that, despite the product turbulence coming from COVID-19 disruption, vendors will try to keep their revenues high by launching more innovative models are creating high margin niches”, said Dominika Koncewicz, Senior Analyst for Displays at CONTEXT. “These could include models with high-resolution or refresh rates, improved ergonomics or touchscreens, or even monitors with advanced graphics aimed at gamers and other specialised users.

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