Mon, Mar 31, 2003 - Page 10 News List

Taiwan continues to lead the OEM flat-panel sector

By Bill Heaney  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taiwan remained the world's No.1 producer of made-to-order flat screens for computers, US-based research firm DisplaySearch reported last week. Two thirds of the LCD (liquid-crystal display) monitors and computers sold globally in the final quarter of last year were manufactured in Taiwan, the report said.

Taiwan's share of the global market rose to 64 percent from 63 percent in the third quarter, followed by South Korea, which rose from 21 percent to 26 percent, DisplaySearch reported on Wednesday.

Local companies that fared particularly well were Acer Inc and BenQ Corp (明基).

Acer improved its position as a brand-name manufacturer of flat screens, while BenQ posted strong growth as a made-to-order flat-screen producer.

"Acer enjoyed that fastest growth of the top-15 suppliers at 140 percent on strong performance in Europe to move into the No.11 position [globally]," the report said.

BenQ is currently the world's third-largest supplier of made-to-order or OEM (original-equipment manufacturing) LCD monitors, and saw a 38-percent increase in sales last quarter, the report said.

South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co and LG Electronics Inc lead BenQ in the OEM market.

In the brand-name market, Dell Computer Inc knocked Samsung off the top perch last quarter, taking 14.7 percent of global sales compared to Samsung's 9.6 percent. Dell increased its sales by 95 percent during the quarter.

"Dell pulled away from the field in the fourth quarter of 2002 with 95 percent quarter-on-quarter growth to earn a 14.7-percent share," the report said. "By region, it was No.1 in North America, No.5 in Japan, No.2 in Europe and No.7 in the rest of the world."

Despite Taiwan's lead in the desk-based computer display sector, South Korea's dominance in flat-screen technology has earned it a much larger slice of the notebook computer and flat-screen television markets.

When the notebook and television figures are included, Taiwan is knocked into the No.2 position worldwide by South Korea, DisplaySearch reported.

The South Koreans are one generation ahead of Taiwan in manufacturing technology, which allows them to produce screens more efficiently.

While Samsung and LG opened fifth-generation (5G) factories last year, Taiwan-based AU Optronics Corp (友達光電) will only open the first 5G plant locally next month. Factories with 5G technology can make more screens in larger sizes, making such operations more profitable.

The number of LCD monitors and LCD PCs sold last year doubled to 33.4 million units compared to 2001, DisplaySearch reported. Now 30 percent of all computer screens sold are flat, up from 22 percent in 2001.

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