Short-term static, but long-term promise for LCD makers

Jan 01, 2009 | 11:37 AM |

The imminent replacement of analog broadcasting by digital, growing demand from industrializing countries and the constant push for higher-and higher resolution television viewing paint a bright picture for the liquid crystal display (LCD) market, at least in the long term.

For the short term, however, things might be a bit more rocky. LCD makers anticipate a slowing in market growth in coming months due to the changing financial environment. But growth, albeit slower, is still positive for the indium industry. The metal is an operative element in the transparent conductive indium-tin oxide coatings that are essential to all LCDs, particularly since there's no viable substitute yet despite tons of research into alternative materials.

Sharp Corp., for example, saw its first-half 2008 sales to China alone near triple those of a year earlier, and the company expects strong results in other so-called BRIC—Brazil, Russia, India and China—countries as well. Is the LCD market maturing after several peaks over the past six years? Perhaps, but it's not there yet, according to Sharp. "We don't think the LCD TV market is matured," said a spokeswoman for the Osaka, Japan-based company. ....

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