CRT business still healthy

The CRT monitor business is far from fading and still full of opportunities for resellers, according to executives from ViewSonic. The vendor is adding peripherals and networking products to its line-up and also plans a channel shakeup in Egypt.

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By  Alex Malouf Published  December 13, 2004

The CRT monitor business is far from fading and still full of opportunities for resellers, according to executives from ViewSonic. The vendor is adding peripherals and networking products to its line-up and also plans a channel shakeup in Egypt. “In many people’s mind the CRT business is dying. The perception is customers don’t want it any more but this couldn’t be farther from the truth,” said Ian Gobey, MEA sales director at ViewSonic Middle East. “There are markets that hold a great deal of potential for CRT sales, such as Egypt, North Africa and Iraq. We have even been selling in GCC states like Qatar, where traditionally we haven’t sold many CRT products. There are customers out there who are after CRT products.” Paul Su, general manager for CRT products at ViewSonic, believes that resellers have been led down the wrong path by analysts who inaccurately predicted that end-users would flock en masse to LCD products. In fact, the number of CRT monitor units shipped globally fell by just 6 million in 2003 even though analysts had been forecasting a fall of 14 million. “The CRT business may not be growing but it has plenty of life in it, and this year ViewSonic actually bucked the trend and increased shipments worldwide by 10% to 2.5 million units.” ViewSonic is tying up plans to introduce a raft of new product segments into the Middle East market for 2005 to compliment its monitor line-up. Building channels for its new networking and peripherals range will figure high on the agenda for ViewSonic, but Su reckons they will be a hit with consumers. “We are branching out into new categories that fit our monitor lineup. There will be a whole range of IT kit to give end-users a consistency and uniformity in their computer experience, from keyboards to mice to networking solutions. ViewSonic will be vying against the likes of Logitech and Microsoft, with good quality products and high margins for the channel.” One issue which ViewSonic is moving to address is channel concerns in Egypt. While once a significant player in the Egyptian monitor market, ViewSonic has slipped down the rankings, and the vendor is determined to turn business around and achieve strong results. “We used to sell 7,000 CRT units a month in Egypt a few years ago and dominated the market with a share of 60%. A number of factors conspired against us and we want to win that back. If we were to pick the right [distribution] partner and support the channel in the right manner then we can replicate those figures quite easily. We are looking at shaking things up significantly in Egypt to lift our business and regain market share,” concluded Gobey.

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