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  • Asian Firms to Dominate Flat Panel Display Market
  • September 2, 1998 (SAN FRANCISCO) -- Fujitsu Ltd., Hitachi Ltd., NEC Corp. and Pioneer Electronic Corp. will dominate the plasma display panel (PDP) market, a U.S. market research firm said.
    Phoenix, Ariz.-based Semico Research Corp. also said the major worldwide players in the liquid-crystal display (LCD) market are Sharp Corp., NEC, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. and the LG Group.

    The research group projected that the global market for active matrix LCDs would grow from 20 million units this year to 150 million units in 2003.

    Two other technologies that could be contenders in the flat panel display sector are field emission displays (FEDs) and electroluminescent displays (ELDs), the research group said. It noted that ELDs have an established niche in military applications, due in part to their rugged character. But ELDs have technical issues that may hamper progress in terms of cost-competitiveness.

    As for all types of flat panel displays, including those used in notebook personal computers, cellular phones, pagers, digital cameras and other electronics products, Semico Research said it expects the market to expand by at least 20 percent a year through 2003. It projects an annual market of more than 600 million units in 2003 in its report entitled "Flat Panel Displays: The Future is Thin and Now." The projection for this year is a market of 184.6 million units.

    Among the high-end applications that are emerging for flat panel displays is high-definition television (HDTV). Fujitsu recently developed a technology called alternate lighting of surfaces for high-resolution plasma display panels for HDTV applications, and virtually all other major Japanese and Korean electronics companies also are working on similar technology.

    Still, Semico Research said that sales of plasma display panels would likely reach only about 8 million units in 2003, up from an estimated 500,000 units this year.

    The U.S. research group said that much of the growth in the smaller display market will be for such products as global positioning system (GPS) receivers, handheld intelligent appliances and cellular phones.

    In the TFT flat panel display market, Addonics Communications, a Milpitas, Calif.-based member of the Acer Group, recently introduced a new product line of terminals based on 12.1-in. TFT-LCDs.

    Asia-related companies are not the only ones that are advancing in the market for flat panel displays. IBM Corp. recently announced the first 15.0-in. active matrix TFT flat panel monitor to be priced at less than US$1,000. The estimated price of the T55D digital model flat panel monitor is US$949, according to IBM. The T55D digital model is expected to be available worldwide by late October through reseller channels, according to IBM.

    Semico Research said that by 2003, flat panel TVs would start competing with high-end projection TVs and possibly with the largest cathode ray tube (CRT) televisions. In that year, the average sales price of a flat panel TV will be around US$2,000, the research group said.

    (Neil Davis, Asia BizTech Correspondent)

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    Updated: Tue Sep 1 17:59:11 1998 PDT