DisplaySearch: Growth in TFT-LCDs and OLEDs to Drive Worldwide FPD Market to Exceed $100 Billion in 2008

Strong demand, tight supply and the emergence of organic-light-emitting-diode (OLED) display products will help catapult the worldwide market for flat-panel displays (FPDs) to more than $100 billion in 2008 for the first time, according to a recent report by the display-industry research group DisplaySearch.

In its Q3 2007 Quarterly Worldwide Flat Panel Forecast Report, DisplaySearch reports that total FPD sales will grow 13% from $83.7 billion in 2006 to $94.6 billion in 2007 then grow 12% more to $106.2 billion in 2008. This growth will continue to be led by strong growth in the thin-film-transistor liquid-crystal-display (TFT LCD) sector, where revenues are expected to increase 13% from $83.4 billion in 2007 to $94.6 billion in 2008. In the second-quarter of 2007, TFT-LCDs comprised 89.4% of the worldwide FPD revenues.

DisplaySearch predicts big things for the emerging OLED display market in 2008—revenues could double to $1.7 billion, up from a projected total of more than $700 million in 2007.

"The visual impact of OLED displays has always been exciting, and now they are going into real products, even an 11-inch TV set," stated David Barnes, DisplaySearch's Vice President of Strategic Analysis, referring to Sony's planned introduction of 11-inch OLED TVs into the Japanese market. "The OLED industry has a lot of infrastructure to develop, however. OLED will not challenge LCD TV in the mid term. Despite this, the delay of a single mobile-phone product launch can affect our forecast. The OLED business will grow product by product over the coming years. The good news for producers is that OLED is selling at a premium to TFT LCD as supplies remain tight.

Plasma-display-panel (PDP) sales are expected to stay flat from 2007 to 2008 as price decreases offset shipment increases, while sales of cathode-ray-tube (CRT) displays will fall 32% from $7.5 billion in 2006 to $5.1 billion in 2007 and then drop another 21% to $4 billion in 2008.

According to the report, FPD revenues worldwide in Q2 2007 were $22.7 billion, a 16% increase compared to the previous quarter and an 18% increase compared to Q2 2006. TFT-LCDs sales rose 19% from Q1 2007 and 28% from Q2 2006 to $20.3B. PDP technology generated 5.2% of FPD sales but PDP revenue fell 14% to $1.2 billion compared to the previous quarter and 36% compared to Q2 2006. OLED technologies generated 0.5% of FPD sales with revenue growth of 13% compared to Q2 2006.

LCD TV experienced the largest sales growth in Q2. The 19.4 million LCD TV panels shipped in Q2 represented a 32% increase from the previous quarter, and a 64% jump from Q2 2006. Meanhwhile, the average unit price for LCD TV panels fell 3% from Q1 2007 and 16% from Q2 2006. Shipments of PDP TV panels increased to 2.2 million units, up 1% from the previous quarter but down 3% compared to Q2 2006; prices fell 14% during the quarter and 35% from Q2 2006. Shipments of mobile phone panels fell 2% from the previous quarter to 333.3 million units and were flat year-over-year, while the unit price fell 4% Q/Q and 15% Y/Y. Shipments of PC monitor panels rose 21% Q/Q and 46% Y/Y to 46.5 million units. Notebook PC panel shipments grew more slowly at 18% Q/Q and 49% Y/Y to 27 million units. Average sales prices for monitor and notebook panels declined less than usual on strong demand, falling 3% and 11%, respectively, from Q2 2006.

— Staff Reports

iSuppli: 32-Inch PDPs Making a Comeback

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. - The once-dormant market for 32-in. plasma display panel (PDP) TVs is making a comeback, according to industry research group iSuppli.

In the second quarter, LG Electronics brought the 32-inch VGA-resolution PDP back to meet rising demand spurred by constrained supplies of liquid-crystal display (LCD) TV panels of the same size. The reintroduction of the 32-in. size comes as a shift in direction for the PDP market, which has been focusing on large 40- to 44-in. and 50- to 59-in. panels, iSuppli said in a press statement.

iSuppli forecasts the global 34-in.-and-smaller PDP market will grow to 485,000 units by 2011, up from zero in 2006, and from 400,000 units shipped in 2007. While this volume and growth are not huge, they are enough to justify the market reintroduction by LG Electronics. The other panel makers are likely to follow should LG succeed, the group said.

Plunging prices are making PDPs more competitive at the 32-in. size, according to iSuppli. The Average Selling Price (ASP) for PDP panels sized 34 inches and smaller will decline to $124 by 2011, down from a still cheap $215 in 2007, the group estimates. The ASP for 2006 is not available given that PDP vendors didn't sell any panels at the 34-in.-and-smaller size.

However, iSuppli said the PDP suppliers now face the same obstacle they did when the 32-in. PDP was en vogue in the 2004/2005 time frame: the VGA resolution of such panels delivers a far lower picture quality than that of a same-sized LCD. Despite this, LG's gambit is already showing some success in the Chinese market thanks to the attractive price point.

—Staff Reports


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