System builders and resellers can expect a shortage of LCDs and higher prices in the run-up to Christmas, as demand outstrips supply.
According to market watchers Stanford Resources and iSuppli, a surge in LCD demand from notebook, PC and TV manufacturers is already affecting the supply of the most popular LCD displays. Supply of 15in and 17in models is already being stretched and prices are on the rise.
The effects are already being felt in the UK market, distributor Midwich has said.
"LCD supply is not keeping up with demand," said John Turner, business manager at Midwich. "We've seen prices rise slowly over the summer, but the increases have become more dramatic recently.
"Prices have risen by about 20 per cent overall but demand is still strong and people would pay more for them if we had them. In some ways it's good, because the prices on LCD displays had become stupidly low and the price rise will help both reseller and distributor margins.
"The traditional market leader, Samsung, is finding it hard to keep up with demand, but others vendors such as Acer and ADI have stepped into the gap. We have not run out of 15in displays but they are getting scarce. The only ones in plentiful supply are the 17in displays."
According to the research, monitor makers are the biggest market for LCD panels, and they are suffering from the shortage. The situation is exacerbated because they are seen as 'low bidders' in the panel market and often have to queue behind notebook and TV manufacturers.
Even so, panel shortages are now also hurting notebook supplies, Turner said.
"The supply of notebooks is now starting to be affected, and we have ordered up until the end of the year just to try to ensure our own supply. We have never had to do this before," he said.
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