The expected boom next year in sales of flat-screen liquid crystal display televisions (LCD-TVs) for living-room viewing will be delayed due to a shortage of the large panels needed to make the products, industry leaders said yesterday.
"LCD-TVs will grow sharply in 2005, not 2004," said Sheaffer Lee (
Lee was addressing a 20-member delegation of foreign journalists that is in Taiwan at the invitation of the government for the 2003 Taiwan Business Alliance Conference, which ended Tuesday.
The flat-panel industry currently produces LCD-TVs smaller than 20 inches in fifth generation, or 5G, factories, which are also known as fabs.
The next generation factories, which cost around US$1.5 billion to construct, aim to produce the more lucrative larger-than-20-inch screens.
Consumers are hungry for a range of new digital products, ranging from flat-screen TVs to DVD recorders and digital music players, Lee said.
Digital products have grown from just 2 percent of BenQ's US$3 billion revenue last year, to 8 percent of this year's estimated US$4.1 billion. That percentage will double to 16 percent next year, Lee predicted.
BenQ has set itself an aggressive target of becoming a major global brand within five to 10 years.
"We want to be the same kind of company as Sony in Japan or Samsung in [South] Korea for Greater China," Lee said.
The worldwide LCD-TV market remains a small percentage of the total demand for LCDs, which including notebook and standalone displays is expected to reach 90 million units this year, according to US-based research firm DisplaySearch.
LCD-TVs will only reach 4 million units worldwide this year, but this will double to between 8 million and 10 million next year, DisplaySearch forecasts. In the same period, BenQ plans to quadruple its LCD-TV shipments from 100,000 to 400,000, Lee said yesterday.
A senior official at Taiwan's largest supplier of flat panels -- AU Optronics Corp (
"Now more than 80 percent of the market is small LCD-TVs," AU executive vice president Hsiung Hui (
"Price is still an issue. For example, a 30-inch TV is still over US$3,000. With that kind of price there's a limit to the market," Hsiung said.
The industry has to be prepared to sacrifice profit margins in larger panels to grow the market, Hsiung added.
Only 2 percent of AU's revenues this year will come from LCD-TVs, but this will grow to between 15 and 20 percent next year, Hsiung said yesterday.
"LCD-TVs are just beginning, but I think this will be the quickest growing segment in the next few years," he said.
Total revenues at AU are expected to grow from US$2.2 billion last year to US$2.6 billion this year, according to company statistics.
Taiwan is facing fierce competition in the race to supply larger screens in newer generation fabs. Japanese and South Korean rivals are expected to ramp up 6G production six months to a year ahead of AU, which is currently constructing a 6G fab in Taichung County.
Production is scheduled to start at this facility at the beginning of 2005, Hsiung said.
ELECTRONICS Lite-On delays sale of unit Lite-On Technology Corp (光寶科技) yesterday said it would postpone the sale of its solid-state drives (SSD) business to Kioxia Holdings Corp, formerly known as Toshiba Memory Holdings Corp, due to disruptions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, the Taiwan-based electronics components supplier struck the deal with the Japanese firm, agreeing to sell the unit for US$165 million. Citing unfinished integration work due to the pandemic, Lite-On has deferred today’s closing date until further notice, adding that the delay would not have a negative effect on the unit’s operations. AUTO PARTS Hiroca approves dividend Automotive interior parts supplier Hiroca
NOT ALL GOOD: Analysts warned that other data for last month might be less rosy due to the virus and analysts expect the PMI to contract again next month Chinese factory activity saw surprise growth last month as businesses went back to work following a lengthy shutdown, but analysts said that the economy faces a challenging recovery as external demand has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, while the World Bank said that growth could screech to a halt. China is slowly returning to life after months of tough restrictions aimed at containing the virus, which put millions of people into virtual house arrest and brought economic activity to a near standstill. The strict measures saw a closely watched gauge of manufacturing plunge to its lowest level on record in February,
ALL ABOUT STRATEGY: The company is optimistic, saying that its gross margin should increase year-on-year, but it is scaling back on its plans to expand capacity Quang Viet Enterprise Co (QVE, 廣越), which makes down jackets and garments for sportswear and outdoor brands including Adidas AG, yesterday said that revenue might drop 5 to 10 percent annually this year as some customers trimmed orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. That would mark its first revenue decline since 2016. Quang Viet posted record-high revenue of NT$16.26 billion (US$537.45 million) last year, up 22 percent from 2018. Down jackets made up 40 percent of it revenue last year. North Face Inc and Patagonia Inc are this year likely to reduce orders by 20 to 30 percent from a
Taipei 101, one of the nation’s leading shopping centers, is planning to reduce its business hours due to decreased demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Taipei 101 is to open daily at noon and close at 9pm from April 6, building management said in a statement on Monday. The shopping center has been opening at 11am and closing at 9:30pm from Sunday to Thursday, while closing at 10pm on Friday and Saturday. The restaurants in the food court — on the basement level — would adjust their business hours as necessary, but the supermarket would continue to open at 9am daily, management said. The shopping