Fourth quarter market snapshots for monitors, printers, networking, and MFPs.

Monitors

Top vendors such as Samsung, ViewSonic and IBM contributed to a successful Q4 for the monitor market. CRT monitors represent the lion’s share of the market, but it is within the LCD segment where

all the action is taking place. LCDs continue to eat away at CRTs, mainly within the 15, 17 and 18-inch product categories. The CRT market represented 80 per cent of total shipments and LCDs comprised the remaining 20 per cent. This is the largest representation of LCD units to date.

Printers

Printer vendors had a phenomenal fourth quarter in 2002. It was a strange year for printers in many ways. ERC downscaled its forecasts several times throughout the year because the market was performing so poorly. The performances of several segments were abysmal in the first half and for whatever reasons, the market rebounded incredibly in the second half. While seasonality plays a partial role, 2002 was an anomaly. The rebound was directly tied to the incredible performance of inkjet MFPs. Knowing this, it would be safe to assume that it was technology rather than seasonality that dictated the fortunes of the printer market this year.

Inkjet MFP vendors shipped an incredible 375,567 units in 2002- more than double the volume of 2001. Explosive growth will continue for these products over the next several years.

Networking

The Canadian networking market has now been in a recession for seven consecutive quarters. During Q4 2002, revenues were 27 per cent lower than in Q4-2001. The last quarter in which the industry registered a year-over-year increase was Q1-2001. The big question has become; when will the market bottom out?

The sad reality is that a number of important people are determined that a recession in sales of networking equipment will extend through to the end of 2003. Fortunately some new technologies are catching on. Shipments of Gigabit Ethernet switches are increasing rapidly as are those of VPN concentrators. Wireless LAN products are proving to be a major success; they are creating new categories of network users and expanding the overall base of network connections.

Copier/MFP Segment Update Program

The convergence of print, copy and scan technologies has given rise to a new breed of technology that will transform the way a typical business handles documents. Recognizing the benefits of a centralized document management device, traditional printer companies have designed new products to address users’ document requirements. At the same time, traditional copier companies have moved to the network, bringing their experience in document reproduction and supplementing its offerings with original document capabilities.

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