Flat-panel sales expected to soar in 2003

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, a U.S.-based market researcher said Wednesday.

"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, president of DisplaySearch's Taiwan branch, told a news conference in Taipei.

Global flat-panel output is expected to reach $62 billion in 2006, up from $28.8 billion in 2002, the research firm said. 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 and Compal Electronics. South Korea's Samsung Electronics and Japan's Sharp also make flat-panel displays.

Shipments of LCD monitors will grow 37 percent a year to reach 113.3 million units in 2006, DisplaySearch predicted. 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.

In terms of pricing, DisplaySearch said it expected the average selling price of a large LCD to hold steady in the current range of $160 to $180 for the rest of the year. Average prices for large LCD monitors have been dropping since late last year after reaching as high as $250 in early 2002.

News source: News.com

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