Fri, Aug 24, 2007 - Page 12 News List

Sales of custom-made large flat panels expected to increase by 50% annually

By Lisa Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Sales of large flat panels for public spaces are expected to increase by 50 percent at annual rate to 3.34 million units by 2010 as falling panel prices drive demand, Taipei-based market researcher Market Intelligence Center (MIC, 資訊市場情報中心) said yesterday.

"The market is booming because more companies and educational organizations want to use flat panels to deliver real-time information such as traffic, news and government polices," MIC analyst Yoko Ho (何菀容) said.

"Recently, we have seen an increasing number of flat displays hung on the walls of hotels and shopping malls and in other public spaces," Ho said.

Lower panel prices and software improvements are major factors driving the demand, Ho said.

This year, sales of flat-panels -- including liquid-crystal-display (LCD) panels and plasma-display panels (PDP) -- bigger than 30 inches are expected to jump 50 percent to 980,000 units from one year ago, Ho said.

The growing demand for panels in public spaces would absorb some of the excessive output from next-generation factories, Ho said.

But for now, "it will provide a good opportunity for local electronics assemblers to diversify from low-margin commodity products," Ho said.

Gross margin for large panels for public displays is much higher than those for standard products because they are custom-made to meet specifications, she said.

Ho said that Chi Ling Technology Co (奇菱), an LCD affiliate with Chi Mei Group (奇美集團), was an up-and-coming player among local producers of LCD monitors.

The nation's biggest power system manufacturer Delta Electronics Inc (台達電), is planning to tap into this market, she said, joining LG Electronics Inc and Samsung Electronics Co.

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