Shift to Larger Screens Could Favor LCD

Global financial services company Credit Suisse is projecting that LED technology will eventually overtake plasma in HD units sold, based on several factors. LCD is already quickly encroaching on the 42-inch market, which has been somewhat of a plasma stronghold. As for production, it is technologically more difficu
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Global financial services company Credit Suisse is projecting that LED technology will eventually overtake plasma in HD units sold, based on several factors.

LCD is already quickly encroaching on the 42-inch market, which has been somewhat of a plasma stronghold. As for production, it is technologically more difficult and costly for plasma makers to mass-produce screen sizes less than 50 inches, according to Credit Suisse analyst Wanli Wang. "This Christmas season probably is the last chance for [plasma makers] to promote 42-inch models. By this time next year probably there will be no price difference between plasma and LCD," he told Reuters.

Wang predicts LCD prices at the consumer level will fall at least 30 percent in 2007 thanks to adequate supplies of LED panels cut from larger substrates--compared with a 15-to-20 percent drop for plasma.

At least one research analyst agrees with Swiss-based Credit Suisse. DisplaySearch forecasts that plasma will start shrinking in 2009 after hitting $24 billion in sales in 2008, while LCD demand reaches $75 billion in 2008 and $93 billion in 2010.

Thus far, Chunghwa Picture Tubes of Taiwan, reportedly shut down its plasma business to concentrate on LCD. That's too few, and too soon, to call it a trend.