Prices for flat panel TVs are set to rise in 2010, claim leading analysts at this year’s CES in Las Vegas. They are also tipping that we’ll see a new generation of TVs in time for the 2010 World Cup in June. David Hsieh Vice President, Greater China Market, for DisplaySearch has tipped the following for the display market in 2010.
1. Panel prices are set to increase in January 2010, and it is likely that they will rise through Q1’10 due to the strong demand to build inventories. How long can prices stay strong?
2. When will we see new fabs and capacities? Encouraged by strong demand, panel makers are starting to pull in their new fab schedules and capacity additions.
3. Will there be more consolidation and alliances? If so, who will swallow whom?
4. Most TV brands are targeting 30-50 per cent LED backlight penetration in their 2010 business plan; will they be able to achieve that? How fast will LED backlight LCD TVs grow?
5. E-book readers are a promising new application category, attracting new entrants and stimulating technology evolution. However, there are still doubts about consumer acceptance of these devices. Will e-book readers become an accepted consumer electronics device? Or it will be just a fad? Is color required for broad acceptance?
6. 3D can provide inspiring and thrilling experience, but there are uncertainties about the availability of content, the technological readiness, and acceptance in the living room. Can we move away from the requirement for glasses?
7. Except for Panasonic and Chinese makers, plasma panel makers have stopped investing in new capacity. Even Panasonic is shifting resources into LCD. What can change PDP’s destiny in 2010? Can plasma survive in the TV market? Or can it find a new niche?
8. Among the many potential projects for Gen 7/8 fabs in China, which ones will eventually come true? How will they influence the 2011 supply/demand balance?
9. Panel costs fell sharply in 2009 due to depreciation and changes in components. Will this reduction continue in 2010? How profitable will companies in the LCD supply chain be?
10. Will the small/medium FPD panel price collapse due to the newly ramped Chinese Gen 4 fabs and the Korean/Taiwanese Gen 5 fabs shifting to the <10? production?
Certainly, there are many questions to be answered, such as the mini-note outlook, touch panel development, LCD monitor market maturity, Windows 7 influence, high transmittance technologies, glass substrate capacity constraints, TV specifications and roadmaps, mobile phones, pico projectors, 21:9 aspect ratio, and so on.