Worldwide LCD Market Grows 46% in 1999, TFT Segment Nearly Doubling From 1998, IDC Japan Reports

FRAMINGHAM, MA – JUNE 7, 2000 – The worldwide LCD market reached a value of 1,985.3 billion yen in 1999, representing a year-on-year increase of 46%, according to a report released by IDC Japan. This report attributes the noticeable market expansion mainly to the sharp increases in thin film transistor (TFT) panel prices caused by tight supplies. In fact, the TFT display segment expanded 74% from 1998.


IDC Japan says the market growth was made possible primarily by high personal computer demand and tight TFT supplies amid a worldwide rush to address the year 2000 problem. The report, which also projects worldwide LCD market size to 2006, says it would be difficult to expect similar growth for 2000 onward, when the supply-demand situation is likely to reverse and product prices will decline.

Nevertheless, IDC believes the market should maintain a sustainable growth with both consumption and value increasing at double-digit rates through 2006, supported largely by an increasing demand for large TFT displays and mobile devices. IDC expects the market will reach 4.6 trillion yen in 2006, exceeding the 4.5 trillion yen level for the first time.

Projections for individual market segments are as follows: The market for large TFT panels will grow rapidly, at an average annual rate of 20.5%, in new fields such as monitors and TVs as well as the conventional field of notebook personal computers. A similarly sharp increase in demand is projected for midsize panels, largely for use in mobile devices. While large TFT and STN panels will likely enjoy an average annual growth rate of 17%, small and midsize panels will continue to see double-digit growth, averaging 11%. IDC says a key strategic consideration for manufacturers is to shift part of their management resources that are currently concentrated on large panels to midsize ones.

IDC expects the presence of super twisted nematic (STN) panels in the large market will shrink continuously from 2002 onward due to increasing use of TFT panels in notebook personal computers and the contraction of the word processor market. However, there are favorable factors as well, including an exploding demand for STN panels for use in cellular phones and other devices, as well as a growing supply of color STN panels. On an overall amount basis, STN panels will continue to enjoy growth until 2003 or 2004, after which their growth will slow down as their use in cellular phones begins to diminish.

Many observers say the use of TFT panels will substantially increase in next-generation cellular phones featuring i-mode and other new characteristics, as in the case of notebook personal computers. There certainly is no doubt the demand for TFT panels will increase on a volume basis. On the whole, however, STN panels will likely satisfy more than half of the demand in the small and midsize panel market. STN's presence in the small to midsize panels can be legitimized for a number of reasons. For STN panel manufacturers, this market segment is the last "fort" to hold. Also this segment requires the ability to promptly meet specific needs such as production to custom specifications and the manufacturing of a large variety of models. Finally, the demand for TFT displays is very likely to continue to center around large panels. The consequence will be TFT displays meeting demand for high-end products and STN panels satisfying demand for low-end products.

Other market leaders will include reflective LCDs, low-temperature polysilicon TFT panels, and plastic LCDs. Reflective LCDs are being shipped in increasing volumes for use in small notebooks, handheld personal computers, PDA, video game machines, and so forth. Low-temperature polysilicon TFT panels are enjoying a growing demand in three major audio-visual uses: video movies, data projectors, and digital cameras.

Referring to the whole market, Hiroyuki Yoshida, Display research manager at IDC Japan, said, "There are growing differentials among LCD manufacturers in the scale of mass production, and this is more likely to accelerate their regrouping or realignment. Moves in this direction will certainly speed up as the market softens in 2001."

The IDC report, LCD Market Outlook: Worldwide LCD Market (IDC #J0201), projects the worldwide LCD market size in detail. Main headings in the report include projected trends in the whole LCD market, changes in market segments, present and projected supply-demand situations, overall investment trends, movements in Korea and Taiwan, profitability prospects, and market shares of TFT manufacturers.

To purchase the report, please contact Cheryl Toffel at 1-800-343-4952 extension 4389.

About IDC

IDC delivers dependable, high-impact insights and advice on the future of ebusiness, the Internet, and technology to help organizations make sound business decisions. IDC forecasts worldwide markets and trends and analyzes business strategies, technologies, and vendors, using a combination of rigorous primary research and in-depth competitive analysis. IDC provides global research with local content through more than 500 analysts in 43 countries worldwide. IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, ebusiness companies, and the financial community. Additional information can be found at

IDC is a division of IDG, the world's leading IT media, research and exposition company.

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