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Flat panel TV prices head down

Jan 26,2007
Flat panel TV prices have started going down in Korea and will continue to do so as market researchers anticipate that the global market will balloon this year. As prices go down, competition likely will intensify between Korean and Japanese TV makers.


The market research company Display Bank reported Wednesday that the average price of liquid crystal display TV sets in Korea this month was down 7.5 percent for a 42-inch set and 8.5 percent for a 40-inch set compared to prices in December. The average price for a 42-inch LCD TV was $2,130; a 32-inch TV was $1,194.
Display Bank said prices had been falling, but that the gap was greater now than before. In December, LCD TV prices were down 5.4 percent for 42-inch TVs and 4.3 percent for 40-inch TVs compared to TV prices for November.
Sales prices of plasma display panel, or PDPTVs, were also down. In the case of high definition PDP TVs, a 50-inch HDTV cost $3,413 in December but dropped 6.7 percent to $3,185 this month; a 42-inch HDTV fell 4.8 percent from last month to $1,910.
Amid falling prices, the TV market will continue to grow, not only in Korea, but on a global basis, Display Bank said. The research company anticipates that the launch of digital broadcasting in the United States and Europe will cause the market to expand to $83.5 billion this year globally in terms of sales.
Analysts also said that the continuous decrease in the cost of LCD panels will make LCD TVs more attractive in the 40-inch range because their prices are similar to those of PDPs.
Samsung Electronics plans to ship 13.5 million TV units, mostly LCDs, worldwide this year. LG Electronics plans to ship 8 million LCD TV units and 2.5 million PDP TV units. Market researchers expect that their combined sales will take up about 30 percent of the global flat panel market.
Sony Corp. is aiming for shipment of 10 million units this year, a 60 to 70 percent increase compared to last year. Sharp will increase production from 6 million to 10 million.
Company investment patterns are also taking different routes.
Korean companies such as LG Electronics are focusing more on LCD displays, while the Japanese company Matsushita is investing more in PDPs.
The decision by Korean firms to lower investment in PDPs and focus on LCDs follows a downturn in PDP sales. LG Electronics saw a decrease of PDP module sales from 910,000 units in the third quarter of last year to 580,000 units in the fourth quarter.


By Wohn Dong-hee Staff Writer [wohn@joongang.co.kr]


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