Niche Applications for Power Protection Devices Grows

11/4/2003 - Demand for power protection devices is growing in a number of non-traditional niche markets such as Home Entertainment Equipment, medical laboratory equipment and security/access control systems. The unique application requirements of these customers are expected to create differentiation and margin opportunities for successful UPS suppliers. These new applications are welcome opportunities in an industry still working through three years of challenging market conditions.

Traditional enterprise markets for 5 kVA and under battery UPS are mature. Technical standards are well established, performance specifications are largely indistinguishable, and most UPS suppliers are competing on price, availability and support. Their income statements are reflecting these challenging market conditions with lower gross margins and operating income.

These factors combined - margin pressure in core markets and differentiation opportunity in niche markets - are changing the competitive landscape in a number of power protection markets, including low power battery UPSs. One such opportunity is the home entertainment equipment market.

In the home entertainment equipment market, the real boom is yet to happen and hinges on the interoperability between PCs and consumer electronics equipment.

With the convergence of multiple electronic devices in the home and the threat of rolling blackouts and power outages, consumers are focusing on power protection in the home to ensure their high-tech gear will work after the power comes back on. Many people are discovering that investing in a generator may not protect the computer, DVD player or big screen TV during a blackout, because generators are not designed to protect sensitive electronic components, even if it keeps them running.

Most UPS models are affordable, easy to set up and operate, and give enough run time to shut down applications and equipment properly. Many also come with software that will shut down sensitive devices at the first sign of a power fluctuation. These points are making UPSs a viable solution for home offices and home entertainment equipment.

For further information about "2003 Power Protection Market Intelligence Program - Volume 7: North American UPS - End User Analysis" contact: John Hutchison, Power Industry Analyst, 508-653-9000, extension 119,

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