PMA Forecasts 31 Percent Growth Rate

Pacific Media Associates (PMA) has released the results of their latest projector industry forecasts.

Although industry growth slowed in 2011, strong pockets of demand are expected to brighten the outlook for 2012. The projected 31 percent increase will bring worldwide projector shipments to 12.4 million units next year.

PMA divides the front projector industry into three brightness ranges, each associated with its own set of buyer types and applications: New Era (sub-500 lumens), Mainstream (500-4999 lumens), and High-End (5000+ lumens).

New Era (pico, personal, toy/gaming) projectors continued to see large unit sales gains in 2011, with embedded models (in phones, cameras, and camcorders) on target to grow over 600 percent this year. These embedded models are also expected to see continued triple-digit growth for the next two years. New Era projectors are the fastest-growing projector category, with sales projected to grow by 115 percent in 2012.

In the Mainstream projector category, economic uncertainty will continue to hinder market recovery in 2012. Double-digit projector growth is expected in BRIC countries and other developing markets, but at a lower rate than in the previous PMA forecast. Education tenders will still play a pivotal role in emerging market growth, but PMA has taken a more conservative approach given the potential for additional fiscal austerity in these countries. PMA forecasts the Mainstream projector category will grow by a modest 8 percent next year.

According to Michael Abramson, PMA’s VP of projector research, “We can expect the second half of 2013 to mark the beginning of a more resilient projector demand, as we expect recessionary pressures to continue to plague Europe in 2012 and the recovery in the U.S will also remain tempered for the coming year."

The Mainstream standard-throw resolution mix is expected to move to more Wide XGA in all regions, though there remains a significant gap in widescreen penetration between developed vs. developing countries. PMA also predicts that interactive and short-throw projectors will continue to see favorable growth and outperform the overall market. But, as people are opting for these interactive or short-throw features, they are balancing the incremental costs for these features by choosing XGA models over Wide XGA ones.

The High-End projector category is also expected to outperform the overall projector market this year and next. PMA predicts an 18 percent increase in shipments for this category in 2012. This will be driven by an upward migration in brightness and resolution, as well as an increased need for large-venue projectors in developing countries.

In the Digital Cinema market, the worldwide installed unit base is expected to reach 80,000 by the end of 2012, and shipments of 4K D-Cinema units are expected to account for one-third of the total shipments next year.

Sales of Home Theater projectors are expected to be another bright spot in the market for 2012, with continued positive growth (though slower than the buoyant recovery we’ve seen in 2011). Increased offerings from “Top Tier” brands in the mid-range price segment will drive sales higher next year and beyond, as will more sub-$1,000 1080p units being sold through expanded channels. 3D projectors will play a part in continued Home Theater growth, which will also fueled by sales for major sporting events such as the Olympics and Euro football next year.