Over the past 12 months we've seen a major gulf emerge between the best and worst performing categories. That's largely been due to the extraordinary circumstances facing businesses and consumers of technology across Europe. When the world was forced to stay at home, interesting things happened to demand.
On the one hand, it rapidly increased in categories supporting home working and studying, like laptops and monitors. But on the other, it has sunk significantly in areas traditionally associated with business use - such as audio visual (AV) equipment. Fortunately, the laser segment continues to perform well.
The business projector market has been declining for several years, with some vendors even halting production and sales altogether. So it is perhaps not surprising that this space has experienced further problems during the pandemic.
Overall projector unit sales were down 20% from 2019 to 2020. The business market suffered the biggest decline: -25%, versus -7% in consumer. This is to be expected given that most offices, schools, universities, museums and the like have been closed for large parts of the year across Europe.
Laser growth picks up
However, amidst the gloom there are some positives. In the business segment laser technology is proving to be a hit, with sales of related products increasing 18% year-on-year in 2020. This can be explained by several factors. Laser projectors are cheaper to maintain, they have a longer lifespan, and they can display in both landscape and portrait. They also boast a steady linear brightness decrease, for less volatility.
However, one of the biggest drivers for this sales growth may be price reductions. In January 2019 the average distribution sales price for a laser projector was ,000, but a year later it was down to ,350 and by January 2021 it was at ,830. That may be why we're seeing the laser projector market continue to perform well this year. During weeks 1-11, 2021, sales have surged by 30% year-on-year, while products with wireless connectivity saw sales increase by an impressive 176%.
It seems like there's plenty of hope for a brighter 2021 in AV.
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