In brief: In yet another illustration of how much the pandemic has affected consumer behavior, monitor shipments throughout 2020 saw their highest growth in a decade, reaching 140 million units. This year is predicted to be another great one for manufacturers as shipments hit the 150 million mark.
TrendForce's latest report into the monitor industry cites the increase in those working and learning from home for the massive growth in shipments. The 8.6% YoY jump in 2020 was the largest in about ten years, and demand isn't slowing down; Q1 2021 saw a YoY increase of 34.1%, while the second quarter is expected to exceed 10%.
The analyst forecast total shipments for 2021 to hit 150 million, which would mark a 7.3% YoY rise. Gaming monitors are expected to make up 25.9 million of these units (17.3%). Samsung and Asus are predicted to see the most significant growth in the monitor market this year, with the Korean giant increasing 20% and the Taiwanese firm up 10%.
As with every other tech product right now, the monitor industry is having to deal with component—and panel—shortages. Supply of panels fell about 11% short of demand in Q1 2021, which is causing panel module prices to creep upwards; they reached about $3.5 - $4.5 on average during March and April after climbing over the last 9 months.
Some brands are losing money as a result of the higher costs, forcing them to raise the selling price of their monitors in Q2 2021. It's unclear whether more expensive end products will impact consumer demand going forward.
While the pandemic is pushing up monitor shipments this year, the disruption Covid-19 caused to supply chains, game development, and chip creation means the games market will likely see a YoY decline in 2021.