Accelerometer Pricing Challenges; Life Sciences Instrumentation Increases

Frost & Sullivan's (www.sensors.frost.com) new report, "Accelerometers in North American Automotive, Aerospace, and Industrial Markets," reveals that holding prices at profitable levels has become a real challenge for suppliers of accelerometers. It is no surprise that buyers of accelerometers are extremely price sensitive; the automotive market has helped to drive demand. But this means that pricing pressure is trickling down to the lowest level in the supply chain. In addition, competition among suppliers has compelled price cuts of 3%–5% to sustain demand from a relatively small customer base.

The North American market for accelerometers totaled $544.0 million in 2003. It is projected to reach $867.2 million in 2010. Miniaturization and wireless communications are trends taking accelerometers into new markets. Highly sensitive MEMS-based accelerometers are finding use in multiple end-user segments that include security, office equipment, gaming, and consumer electronics.

The analytical and life science instrument industry will grow 6.2% in 2005 to more than $27.7 billion, says Strategic Directions International (SDi, www.strategic-directions.com), a market research and consulting firm. Analytical and life science instruments, which are used in life science research, laboratory testing, and other scientific and industrial applications, grew an estimated 6.6% in 2004, according to the January 15 issue of the firm's publication, Instrument Business Outlook (IBO). Demand for laboratory automation, mass spectrometry, and life science and surface science techniques will drive instrument sales growth this year. Increased demand from industrial markets and Asia is also expected to fuel sales.

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