Tue, Oct 10, 2006 - Page 12 News List

Market researcher raises LCD TV sales projection for 2007

By Lisa Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Market researcher DisplaySearch has raised its sales forecast next year for liquid-crystal-display (LCD) televisions, citing rising demand on the back of falling prices and growing adoption of high-definition (HD) TVs.

Global LCD TV sales would climb 53 percent to approximately 66 million sets next year from an estimated 43 million sets this year, the Austin, Texas-based research house said last week.

"Price is the biggest force driving the growth of LCD TV sales," said David Hsieh (謝勤益), a vice president at DisplaySearch's Greater China unit, during a press briefing.

Hsieh predicted that brandname suppliers of mainstream 32-inch LCD TVs would suffer the biggest drop in price, declining around 18 percent from US$1,100 now to an attractive US$899 during the Christmas shopping season.

Prices for 37-inch LCD TVs and 40-inch/42-inch models would also slide to their sweet spot at around US$1,199 and US$1,599, respectively, he said.

Increasing migration to HDTVs will also be an important factor driving LCD TV demand next year, Hsieh said.

HD-capable LCD TVs that are able to deliver programs in high 720-pixel definition would accelerate the replacement of conventional cathode-ray-tube (CRT) TVs as well as eat into the 42-inch plasma-display-panel (PDP) TV market, Hsieh said.

At present, most 42-inch PDP TVs are unable to deliver high-definition signals, he added.

HD-capable TVs would command some 64 percent of the TV market in Europe, the world's biggest LCD TV market, next year, compared with an estimated 47 percent this year, DisplaySearch projected.

A majority of the flat-panel makers expect slim-screen TVs to dominate the TV market by 2008 with LCD TVs accounting for half of the world's TV sets in 2008, the research house said.

LCD TVs with 32-inch screens would remain the mainstream model in the European and Japanese markets, while 40-inch or 42-inch sets would be the most popular size in North America, DisplaySearch predicted.

Geographically, China would be the fastest-growing area, surpassing Japan to become the world's third-largest LCD TV market with a 14 percent share of global sales, DisplaySearch said.

Europe would still be the world's largest LCD TV market, and North America would occupy the second spot next year, it said.

To cope with a changing TV landscape, a local researcher suggested that Taiwanese flat-panel makers seek further cooperation with Chinese TV brands to benefit from the strong TV demand.

"Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd (中華映管) set a good example," said Jim Chung (鍾俊元), an analyst at the Industrial Technology Research Institute (工研院).

Chunghwa Picture Tubes, the nation's third-largest LCD panel maker, earlier this year bought a 32 percent stake in Xiamen Overseas Chinese Electronic Co (廈門華僑電子), China's No.2 TV brand.

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