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One Quarter of all LCDs Built are Outsourced

In its latest quarterly LCD TV report, market researcher DisplaySearch finds that 25 percent of all LCD television sets shipped in the first quarter of 2009 carrying many familiar brand names were made by outsourcing to OEM parties such as AmTran, Compal, Grundig, Jabil and TPV.

However, the actual percentage of outsourcing product varies widely from brand to brand–with some of the best-selling brands employing the least amount of outsourced set-making.

For example, Samsung outsourced only 5 percent of its LCD models, while Sony outsourced less than 20 percent. In the other extreme, low-cost big box brand Vizio—which has been shipping the highest number of LCD units globally in recent months—had its entire shipment of LCD sets in Q1 built by other parties. (This is typical; Vizio has none of its own assembly plants, per se.)

Hisense, the Chinese brand based in Qingdao, doesn't have to leave home to have its sets "made in China" where most LCD sets of most brand names are assembled. Hisense outsources none of its LCD product to others.

DisplaySearch predicts that overall outsourcing of LCD units (mostly HD) will climb to 30 percent overall in 2010.