Flat-panel display output rising

JAN. 8–TAIPEI – The global output of flat-panel displays for products ranging from notebook computers to televisions is projected to grow 21 percent annually over the next four years, says a U.S.-based research firm.

“We based our optimism on rising popularity of LCD monitors and LCD TVs so demand for larger displays will be booming in the coming years,” C.E. Wang, the president of DisplaySearch’s Taiwan branch, told a news conference.

Global flat-panel output is expected to reach US$62 billion in 2006, up from $28.8 billion in 2002, said the research firm which was established in 1996.
Large-size thin-film transistor liquid crystal displays (TFT-LCDs), used for laptops, LCD monitors and LCD televisions, make up around 70 percent of the world’s total flat-panel output.

The remaining 30 percent comes from smaller screens for personal digital assistants and handsets, the firm said.

Consumers are switching from boxy cathode ray-tube monitors to sleek LCDs to save power and space.
Taiwan is the world’s largest maker of LCD monitors, claiming around 60 percent of global output last year. Major LCD monitor makers on the island include Benq Corp. and Compal Electronics Inc. South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co and Japan’s Sharp Corp also make flat-panel displays.

Shipments of LCD monitors are expected to grow 37 percent a year to reach 113.3 million units in 2006, DisplaySearch said. By then more than 80 percent of monitors around the world will be flat panels, up from 30 percent at the end of 2002, it said.

Benefiting from rising demand, Benq, which also produces cellular phones, said on Tuesday it expected 2003 sales to jump at least 20 percent from last year.
In terms of pricing, DisplaySearch said it expected the average selling price of a large LCD to move steadily in the current range of $160-$180 for the rest of the year.
Prices for large LCD monitors have been on a downtrend since late last year amid a slower recovery in the global computer industry after reaching as high as $250 per unit in early 2002.


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