The continued success of the LCD flat panel market looks assured, as analyst IDC forecasts 2004 revenue growth rates of 56 per cent.
In its Worldwide TFT-LCD Demand and Supply 2004-2007 Forecast, IDC predicted that due to the growth of LCD TV demand, the TFT-LCD market, which also includes notebook panels and LCD desktop monitors, will grow by a compound annual growth rate of 15 per cent. Market revenue will grow from $24bn in 2003 to $42bn in 2007.
Earlier this year the analyst claimed that flat panels will out-ship conventional CRT monitors this year, but that "severe shortages" were already plaguing the channel.
"The TFT-LCD market is expected to double its current size over the forecast period," said Stanley Jeong, research manager for TFT-LCD research at IDC.
"Most notably, revenue in the LCD-TV market segment will grow at such a torrid pace that it will exceed the revenue in the LCD-notebook panel market by 2005."
In the desktop LCD monitor segment, 17in panel sizes will become the most popular during 2004, accounting for 60 per cent of total desktop PC LCD monitor demand.
IDC predicted that 19in panels will account for 40 per cent share by 2007. In the UK, 17in panels are already becoming the market leader, by default.
John Turner, business manager at distributor Midwich, said: "In the first quarter this year, in unit terms, 17in LCD monitors accounted for 33 per cent of sales, against 28 per cent for 15in panels.
"These are in decline, mainly due to lack of availability. Obviously, if there were more 15in panels, they would be the biggest sellers but supplies are constrained. By the third quarter I imagine they will be very scarce."
Growing LCD panel sales are also killing off CRT monitors, according to Turner.
"The sales breakdown now is 70 per cent LCD versus 30 per cent CRT, in unit terms," he said. "For the same period a year ago things were a lot more even, with LCDs at 55 per cent and CRTs at 45 per cent."
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