The Market Situation
The immense success of notebooks gave the development of flat panel displays an unsurpassed boost. Obviously, this also had an effect on normal flat panel displays. Flat panel displays (often referred to as TFTs or LC displays) have been a hot topic of discussion above all in Europe and Japan. This presence in the media is rather surprising, as the sales volume of devices for 1998 was very far from that of CRTs. But so what? - when you take into consideration that the market leader for CRTs sold more than that in just one week . On the other hand, there is an enormous demand for TFTs and one that can currently not be met. That means that the situation concerning TFTs is tense, such as has become rare in the PC market and something that would normally be resolved quickly. Well, things are different for the TFT market and several explanations for the sparse supply include the low availability of glass, the restricted production volumes of the vendors and the unwillingness of the manufacturers to lose money by investing in what they see as a high risk business. The fact remains that the majority of TFTs are used in a business environment, especially where desktop space really is critical, or where noise levels, heat dissipation and health factors play an important role.
A number of requirements have to be met before TFTs can become successful in the home users segment:
- Prices must be at the same level as CRTs
- Minimum size 15" with a resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels
- Standardized interfaces for digital TFTs
- Quality and functional compatibility for ALL applications