TFT-LCDs to coexist with other electronic displays

Paul Boughton

While TFT-LCDs increasingly are dominating the electronic display industry, plenty of opportunity is left in the market for alternative technologies, said Paul Semenza, vice president at iSuppli Corp.

Despite the consolidation of electronic displays around TFT-LCDsthe industry won't become a monoculture Semenza said in a presentation delivered at the Society for Information Display 2005 (SID 2005) conference in Boston.
Semenza noted that TFT-LCDs already accounted for half of all display industry revenue in 2003, and will expand to generate two-thirds of market sales by 2007, according to iSuppli's forecast. Falling prices for TFT-LCDs are making them attractive for a wider array of applications, both old and new.
As TFT-LCDs become more affordablethey are being put into places like carsbathrooms -- wherever consumers want Semenza observed. The
TFT-LCD is a versatile technology that meets a lot of needs and gets used on a lot of new applications. It also is taking over more mature markets.
"TFTs in the past were too expensive for a lot of cost-conscious applications. Howevernew-generation TFT-LCD production now coming online is freeing up older LCD fabs to make smaller-sized screens -- squeezing other technologies out of some markets."
Due to the vast sums of money being invested in TFT-LCD productionsellers of alternative flat-panel display technologies face a tough time competing with LCDs.
Semenza noted that the desktop PC monitor market already has flipped to TFT-LCDs in place of the older CRT technology. Shipments of TFT-LCD and CRT monitors pulled virtually even in 2004at about 59 million units apiece.
In 2005TFT-LCD monitor shipments will amount to 94.2 million unitsmore than double the 40.6 million CRT monitors this yeariSuppli predicts.
Howeveracceptance of TFT-LCD technology in monitors varies greatly depending on region.
TFT-LCDs will account for nearly 100percent of monitor shipments in Japan in 2005with Europe and North America not far behind at 86 and 85percent respectively. HoweverTFT-LCDs' share of shipments are much lower in Asia PacificChina and Latin America at 5032 and 11percent respectively.
The desktop PC monitor market is highly cost sensitiveSemenza noted. When prices for
TFT-LCDs risemonitor makers have the option of switching to less-expensive CRT technology. Thusalthough worldwide CRT monitor shipments will dwindle over the next several yearsthe technology will continue to maintain a presence in the market at least through 2009according to iSuppli.