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ASP downturn continues for small/medium-size displays

Posted: 20 Dec 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:small/medium-size displays? display ASP? spot prices?

The average selling prices (ASPs) of small/medium-size displays for mobile phones, PDAs, handheld games and automotive applications for long-term contracts continued to decline in Q3 of the year, albeit at a slower pace than in previous quarters, according to market research group DisplaySearch.

Displays for other applications that are typically priced at the spot rate, like digital photo frames and portable DVD players, were up q-on-q, reflecting the growing trend away from bargain pricing of 7- and 8-inch displays.

DisplaySearch also suggests that digital cameras, with ASPs that generate the lowest revenue/sq. m, increased by 1-4 percent in Q3 over Q2, and are expected to be flat in Q4.

The firm forecasts overall ASPs to be down 1 percent in Q4, but up 2 percent in Q1 2008.

DisplaySearch suggests that on a y-on-y basis, ASP reductions are reaching bottom, with a 5-percent decline and 2-percent increase forecasted for Q4 2007 and Q1 2008, respectively.

On a weighted average basis, ASPs were $8.92, flat q-on-q, but down 16 percent y-on-y. By technology, weighted ASPs for a-Si TFT LCDs and CSTN LCDswhich make up 50.1 percent of small/medium display shipmentswere both down 7 percent y-on-y, and down 17 percent and 23 percent, respectively, y-on-y.

The market researchers say the rapid drop in CSTN display ASPs is due to excess capacity brought about by losing the battle to a-Si TFT LCDs.

According to Dale Maunu, DisplaySearch VP, "Small/medium display makers are now in full production, with the Japanese makers moving to more profitable, high-resolution displays used in high-end mobile phones, PNDs, PDA phones and wide-view digital still cameras."

Maunu added that the Taiwan makers have successfully raised prices on lower-end displays, which has reduced the pricing difference between panels from Japanese and Korean suppliers.

The market researchers also note that small/medium displays have only been built on Gen 4 and smaller fabs thus far, but some manufacturers are beginning to use Gen 5 for some medium sizethat is 7-inch and aboveapplications beginning in Q1 2008.

They add that PMLCD ASPs are also bottoming-out or even increasing, as evidenced by some q-on-q ASP growth at the low end, where a-Si TFT LCDs do not compete, like automotive, home and office applications at 5 percent, 4 percent and 16 percent, respectively.

- John Walko
EE Times

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