Samsung Moves to Double LCD Sales by 2010

On the heels of the release of its new lineup of advanced LCD monitor displays tailored to the Pro A/V and corporate communities, Samsung Electronics today said it aims to double its annual sales of LCD panels to US$20 billion by 2010.

The Korean electronics giant predicts the worldwide market for flat-panel displays will grow by 75 percent to $115 billion over the next five years thanks to the growing demand for high-end television sets.

“Samsung is debuting several new large-screen LCD monitors that are created to meet the most demanding needs of today’s commercial and corporate marketplaces,” said Mark Pickard, senior product marketing manager for Pro A/V displays, for Samsung’s Information Technology Division (ITD).

Samsung said it will also introduce 100-inch models by 2010.

Competition Heats Up

Samsung is competing with LG.Philips LCD for the flat-panel crown. LG.Philips yesterday announced it will showcase its suite of transistor LCDs for HDTVs, desktop monitors, digital information displays and other applications during the FPD International 2005 in Yokohama, Japan this week.

Matshushita Electric Industrial, maker of Panasonic products, Sharp and Sony are also competing for LCD dollars. And Toshiba recently announced a partnership with Canon to commercialize a flat-TV technology called SED, or surface-conduction electron emitter display next year.

The market is large enough to accommodate several high quality players. According to the latest research from the Strategy Analytics Connected Home Devices service, global sales of flat panel TVs will increase by 66 percent in 2005 alone, generating $25.6 billion in retail revenues.

Larger Than Life

Paul Seminza, vice president of iSuppli, told TechNewsWorld that the LCD business is indeed experiencing a rapid growth period driven by TV sales. iSuppli forecasts $65 billion in overall LCD sales by 2009, with TVs posting 30 percent annual growth.

“When you talk about LCDs, the revenue drivers are size as well as units. TVs are at least twice as big as monitors,” Seminza said. “So if you can sell more of something and larger displays, then you are rapidly increasing your revenues.”

Will LCDs cut into plasma screen sales? Probably, said Seminza. LCDs can serve screens from one inch up to 80 inches. Plasma has a more narrow range, beginning at about 30 inches, because of the nature of the technology.Plasma TVs, however, have traditionally been a more cost effective consumer choice for large sizes.

“What’s changing is that as Samsung and others build these larger, more advanced factories, the cost advantage of plasma at any given size starts eroding,” Seminza said. “LCDs are now being manufactured at 40 and 42 inches. Samsung and others are working hard to bring the prices down and make LCD more competitive. It’s a moving target. We expect plasma TV manufacturers to gradually their emphasis to larger sizes to compete.”

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