LG Electronics has grabbed the top spot in the world’s plasma display (PDP) module market, overtaking Panasonic and Samsung market research firm DisplaySearch has said.

 But global shipments of plasma displays experienced their first sequential decline in the first quarter, falling 11 percent from a record-setting fourth quarter of 2005 to 2.3 million units, DisplaySearch said in its quarterly PDP report.

On a brighter note, prices fell only one percent amid tight supplies and strong demand for larger sized panels.

DisplaySearch said it expected demand to rebound in the second quarter amid new product launches and maintained its yearly global shipment forecast of 11 million panels.

LG posted the fastest shipment growth rate at 9 percent from the October-December quarter, taking a 31 percent market share compared with the 25.6 percent reported in the previous quarter.

Matsushita, which is the world’s largest consumer electronics maker and is known for its Panasonic brand, fell to the second spot while Samsung SDI ceded its second place and fell to the third. Both companies had about 24 percent market share, according to a separate statement released by LG.

Plasma TVs and liquid crystal display (LCD) TVs are the two major types of flat TVs currently on the market. Demand for flat TVs is expanding rapidly as prices come down, encouraging more consumers to trade in their bulky tube TVs for flat models.

“We will keep our spot as the number-one plasma panel maker this year and become the largest plasma TV maker in 2007,” said Yoon Sang-han, president and CEO of LG Electronics Digital Display Company.

LG Electronics in April reported a better-than-expected doubling of its quarterly net profit, powered by its flat-screen operations.

LG said it posted a 22 percent rise in sales of plasma modules in the quarter. The firm has been aggressively boosting its PDP production capacity in its drive to take the top PDP TV spot.


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