LCD (liquid crystal display) monitors will continue to fall in price, market research shows.

Driven by falling prices, shipments of LCD monitors have more than doubled in the last year, the analysts say. The market reached a record 2.9 million units in the second quarter 2001, research by Display Search shows.

The company reported that second-quarter 2001 shipments were 23 per cent higher than in the first quarter, and 131 per cent higher than the second quarter of last year. As a result, LCD monitor shipments now make up 12.4 per cent of the worldwide desktop monitor market on a unit basis, the company said.

Rumours predicting that Apple would release a re-modelled iMac featuring a flat, 15-inch LCD screen at Macworld Expo, New York, 2001, proved false. As prices for such screens become more attractive, there could be cause for another round of speculation.

The LCD-monitor market boom is encouraged by sharp price-reductions. In the US, 15-inch panels have fallen from around $850 to below $500, and prices are still falling. Last week, Japan's IO Data Devices began selling the first 15-inch model for less that $400.

In the third quarter, which is just ending, Display Search expects average selling prices will fall 20 per cent while shipments increase to 4.0 million units. Shipment revenues are expected to climb 12 per cent on the second quarter to reach $2.7 billion.

Display Search also noted that much of the growth in the LCD-monitor market is due to customers replacing existing CRT monitors, rather than buying them as part of a bundle with a new computer.