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Overseas Computer Growth May Affect HDTV Pricing

Jul 10, 2008  •  Post A Comment

China’s business boom may put a crimp in your ability to buy a high-definition television in a few years.
Demand for desktop computers with flat-screen monitors in regions such as Latin America and China is likely to surge as businesses with more purchasing power update their offices, according to a report from NPD Group unit DisplaySearch this week.
With liquid-crystal display shipments rising at about 15% a year through 2012 in Latin America and at about 10% a year in China, North America’s share of the worldwide LCD panel market may fall to 18% in four years from 23% now.
That in turn may boost the price of the LCD panels needed to make HDTVs, DisplaySearch says. Leading HDTV producers include Samsung, Sony and LG Electronics.
“The causal relationship between the LCD flat-panel desktop monitor market and other applications that use large-area displays like notebook PCs and TVs may not be immediately apparent,” said Chris Connery, DisplaySearch’s vice president of personal computer and large-format commercial displays, in a statement. “But all are indeed interrelated.”
More than 237 million LCD monitors for desktop computers will be shipped in 2012, up from 182 million this year and exceeding the approximately 180 million LCD televisions that will be sold that year.
Such a panel-price increase would reverse the trend of falling panel costs from manufacturers ramping up production to match increased worldwide demand for HDTVs. The average cost of a 32-inch LCD panel has fallen to about $300 from $330 at the beginning of last year and is estimated to drop further to about $250 by next June, according to DisplaySearch. By then, some overseas flat-panel makers may have switched over their production lines to produce smaller panels in order to meet higher computer demand, the research firm says.

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