The Asia Pacific flat panel display (FPD) market is gearing up for strong growth as the demand for large-screen liquid crystal display (LCD) panels used in LCD TVs increases tremendously and new technologies such as light emitting diodes (LEDs) and microdisplays emerge. Flat panels are also experiencing significant growth in mobile applications such as mobile phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), digital cameras, and other handheld consumer digital appliances.
"Apart from robust growth in the LCD market, there is also considerable demand from replacement markets such as for televisions as well as from new products enabled by FPDs such as portable media players, high-end mobile phones, and high-definition televisions (HDTVs)," remarks Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Divya Bhaskaran.
The plasma display panel (PDP) market is also a part of the overall FPD market and is one of the few established non-emissive technologies in the market. While PDP technology is facing increasing competition from LCD panels, it has an undeniable price advantage over LCD panels, especially in the 50 inch and above screen categories.
Moreover, with the FPD market facing increasing consolidation and a few major participants emerging as market leaders, the PDP market is likely to fare better than the LCD panel market in terms of bottom-line growth.
"Leading PDP companies are ramping up production in line with the growing demand for large-screen flat TVs, indicating a bright future for PDP technology in the 50 inch and above segment," says Bhaskaran. "On the other hand, LCD panels are likely to dominate the under 50 inch segment."
A major trend observed in the Asia Pacific FPD market is the pattern of cyclical behavior. The market has already experienced five distinct upturns and is about to enter its fifth downturn. Typically, new participants enter the market during a downturn and successively cause an upswing in the following couple of years by adopting the strategies followed by the previous market leader.
Another significant trend is the shift toward the consumer electronics business cycle, with the LCD market increasingly catering to this segment. This is prompting panel manufacturers to tread cautiously while deciding their product mix.
Furthermore, with capital investment costs constantly rising, panel manufacturers are finding it difficult to operate individually, paving the way for increased number of partnerships. They will need to focus on building partnerships throughout the value chain. Vertically integrated participants are perhaps best positioned to ride the wave of these changes, which are threatening to overwhelm many of the smaller companies.
Other factors such as price attrition also pose a considerable challenge to the FPD market. While panel manufacturers make huge investments amounting to billions in state-of-the-art fabrication facilities, a persistent decline in prices is continues to affect their profits.
"The key to flourishing in this capital-intensive and cyclical market is to stay ahead of the competition by constantly innovating and building newer growth trajectories," says Bhaskaran. "Panel manufacturers need to continuously lower their costs and simultaneously focus on serving newer application segments to stay competitive."
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APAC Flat Panel Display Market, part of the Electronic Devices Growth Partnership Services program, provides a comprehensive analysis of this market focusing on the LCD, PDP, and LED markets. The study provides detailed revenue forecasts for the total market. It also analyzes the state of the industry through its current dynamics and examines the significant transition that it is going through at present. Interviews with the press are available.
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