Shipments of LCDs increase while revenues fall

Austin (TX) - TFT-LCDs with panel sizes greater than 10 inches had another successful quarter with 29 percent growth in unit shipments. Revenues and average selling prices continues to drop and indicate a further decline in prices for LCD displays.

According to a report released by market research firm DisplaySearch, manufacturers of large-area TFT LCDs still enjoy two-digit growth rates and exceed market forecast figures, at least when the amount of shipped units is viewed. Panel shipments exceeded in Q4 2004 rose four percent faster than originally expected to 38.7 millions panels. This figure is up 15 percent from last quarter and 29 percent up from the fourth quarter of 2003. For 2004, total large-area TFT LCD module shipments grew 39 percent to 138.5 million units.

The positive results span across all panel sizes and results set new records as continued price reductions and strong seasonal demand fueled unit growth. LCD TV modules rose 23 percent from Q3 to a record 3.8 million panels. Notebook modules grew 16 percent also to a record 13.5 million panels. LCD monitors jumped 14 percent to 20.0 million panels, which is a new record result as well.

Despite the strong unit growth, revenues dropped four percent between Q3 and Q4 and two percent from Q4 2003 to $7.9 billion. The average selling price (ASP) of TFT-LCDs fell 17 percent from Q3 and 24 percent from Q4 2003 to $203.

Displaysearch's research sheds light in particular on the notebook market. Q4 shipments came in 1.54 million units higher than one year before. Wide-aspect ratio panels earned a 29 percent share, up from 26 percent. 15" XGA remained the most popular notebook panel with a 33 percent share. Total notebook LCD shipments reached 47.1 million units.

Industry sources told Tom's Hardware Guide that there is no recovery of the declining ASPs in sight. Consumers should see this trend to continue throughout the first half of 2005.