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LCD drought set to worsen

Component shortages compound problem, push up prices

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TFT LCD panel shortages are set to worsen due to an impending components drought, IDC is warning the industry. Serious shortages of key components including motherglass, display driver ICs, condensers and colour filters will bite into LCD production over the next year. The situation will hit the notebook PC and LCD monitor markets, which are both moving towards new LCD sizes and technology, IDC research warned. Most items will remain in short supply until the end of next year. Motherglass demand is expected to outstrip supply throughout 2001. IDC forecast that 19.2 million portable PCs and 3.9 million LCD monitors would be shipped in 1999. It said LCD supply problems would impact both markets, and may affect the devices’ sales growth in 2000. Taiwanese LCD panel, notebook and LCD monitor makers would struggle to meet demand from PC makers, it said. But Taiwan would still produce around half the world’s notebooks, and 33 per cent of LCD monitors, for 1999. The study also warned of a dearth of LCD display preventing prices falling in these markets. "Given these developments, entry-level TFT-based notebook pricing may stall, as 14- and 15-inch TFT LCD panel supply remains limited," said Randy Giusto, VP of IDC worldwide desktop and mobile research. He also issued a warning for the desktop market. "PC vendors see the 15-inch LCD monitor as the potential sweet spot of the LCD monitor market, and this continuing shortage will delay transitions from CRTs to LCDs on the desktop," said Guisto. ®

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