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News from NET and COM '99

  • Prices of Large TFT-LCD Panels, Scanners Rebound
  • February 5, 1999 (TAIPEI) -- Prices of large-size thin film transistor-liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) panels and scanners have been rebounding so far in 1999 after suffering major slumps last year.
    Due to an expected shortage of TFT-LCDs from July, prices are likely to rise in the second half of the year. However, scanner prices might continue falling, even from April.

    Prices of 12.1-in. TFT-LCD panels declined from US$360 to US$220 amid intense competition with Korean rivals last year, before bouncing back to the current level of US$250.

    Taiwan-based LCD panel makers said that the low product prices have caused demand to surge, and thus a shortage of TFT-LCD panels is likely to be seen from mid-1999.

    The previous wave of price declines in the scanner market resulted from drastic price cuts offered by local companies.

    Taiwan-based manufacturers, including Mustek Systems Inc., Umax Data Systems Inc. and Microtek International Inc., are among the world's top producers of scanners. Last year, they cut the prices of their 300 dpi models to as low as US$19 in the U.S. market, and shifted their operational focus from the 300 dpi model to the 600 dpi model.

    >From early January, the prices of the 300 dpi model have rebounded to between US$59 and US$69, while those of the 600 dpi model range between US$89 and US$99.

    Nevertheless, Mustek said that the recovery of scanner prices is mostly the result of a slowdown of competition among smaller manufacturers. It's too early to say that there is an absence of downward pressure on scanner prices, according to the company.

    Statistics released by the Photonics Industry and Technology Development Association (PIDA) show that while local scanner makers enjoyed rising production in 1998, the value of production increased by just 1.7 percent. Declining prices were the major cause behind the trend, according to the PIDA.

    (Commercial Times, Taiwan)

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    Updated: Thu Feb 4 21:22:41 1999 PDT