MENLO PARK, CA--Pacific Media Associates (PMA) reported that worldwide front projector sell-in shipments topped 1.6 million in the third calendar quarter of 2008. That represents 15.2 percent growth over the third quarter of 2007, and the second consecutive quarter with better-than 15 percent year/year growth.
In the mainstream projector market, the emerging economies led the way in the third quarter as government-funded education tenders continued to drive market volumes. The more developed economies, including North America, Western Europe, and Japan, saw a continued shift to widescreen (Wide XGA) in all ranges of the professional market and to 1080p in the home theater market. But the third quarter was also marked by a burst of activity within several hot segments of the market.
“The first shipments of pico projectors generated a lot of buzz in the third quarter,” said PMA Vice President Michael Abramson. Pico projectors are the tiny, sleek projectors designed to bring a large-screen viewing experience to mobile phones, portable media players, and other mobile gadgets. “We saw new small models pico and larger launched by 3M, Aiptek, Dell, Optoma, and Samsung during the quarter. And we expect shipments to rapidly ramp up this holiday season and into 2009,” added Abramson.
Another hot category in the market is short-throw technology, which enables front projection of an 80-inch image from as close as three inches away. To date, most of the demand for short-throw projectors has been for use with interactive whiteboards in the education market. “We saw tremendous third-quarter growth for short-throw products in the education market,” said Abramson. “But new entrants in the market, combined with rapidly declining prices, are opening up new settings such as small meeting rooms and new applications such as digital signage and public venue entertainment, where short-throw projection offers a compelling alternative to flat panel displays.”
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