Olympics Could Bring LCD Demand to ‘Fever Pitch’

The 2008 Olympic Games to be held in Beijing will present “both opportunities and challenges” for suppliers of LCD HD and SD panels, says industry analyst/researcher iSuppli.

A new study by the firm coming nearly a year before the Olympics get underway suggests LCD television demand by consumers (and therefore, retailers) will probably reach “a fever pitch next year as consumers across the world upgrade their televisions to enjoy the games.”

But iSuppli also voices a word of caution that if LCD sales forecasts again fail to meet expectations, suppliers could face a “severe over-supply that will generate a huge surplus of inventory and cause prices to fall.” (Optimistic global sales forecasts for an array of HD products including LCD prior to the 2006 World Cup soccer tourney eventually fell short of projections, resulting in some surplus inventory for several months, especially in Europe.)

The iSuppli study also points that from a production output perspective, larger-sized LCD panels will begin to be cut from larger substrates in 2008, possibly resulting in a greater supply of LCD panels. (The more panels that can be cut from each substrate, the more cost-effective the production line is.) If this abundance of LCD panels proves accurate, it could prove either beneficial or detrimental to manufacturers and retailers—depending on how well the Olympics attract potential new HD consumers.