Korea and Taiwan battle for TFT-LCD domination

El Segundo (CA) - After briefly taking the lead in 2004, Taiwan is expected to reclaim the top position in the worldwide TFT-LCD panel market in 2006, when its shipments outstrip those of its chief rival, South Korea, according to a report released by market research firm iSuppli on Wednesday.

South Korea and Taiwan are engaged in a close race for leadership in large-sized TFT-LCD panel production, with the two nations battling it out quarter-by-quarter to determine which one will be king of the LCD market. iSuppli believes that Taiwanese manufacturers' capital spending is putting them in position to challenge the South Korean's established leadership in TFT-LCD panel production.

In the fourth quarter of 2004, Korea held the top spot in production with a market share of 47.21 percent, followed by Taiwan with 43.00 percent. Japan is a distant third with 9.45 percent, China currently accounts for 0.34 percent, but shows notable growth during the past quarters. Market shares for the year came in at 45.96 percent for Korea, 43.84 percent for Taiwan, 10.07 percent for Japan and 0.12 percent for China.

iSuppli expects competition in this segment to remain close in 2005, with Korean companies holding onto the lead, and in 2006, when Taiwan's manufacturing output will allow it to reach the top spot.

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