Analysts tune in to a set of strong but mixed signals

Jan 01, 2009 | 11:40 AM |

LCDs may be encased in glass but that doesn't mean the market outlook for such devices is crystal clear. To the contrary, the crisper, sharper images flashed by advancing liquid crystal display (LCD) technology doesn't transfer easily into assessments of the market.

Analysts paint a medium-term picture for LCDs that is muddied by a number of contradictory signals ranging from lower revenue and a maturing market on one hand, to trends promising strong growth on the other.

Questions remain regarding whether producers of indium, which is essential to LCDmanufacture, can continue to capitalize on opportunities and how the metal may be impacted by the less-positive trends marking the current LCD market.

LCD desktop monitors count as one segment of the market that is already mature, according to Paul Semenza, senior vice president of Austin, Texas-based research and consulting firm DisplaySearch LLC.

Another sector approaching maturity is the sleek LCD TV segment, which continues to displace bulkier, space-consuming cathode ray tube (CRT) models. Small to medium-size LCDs can expect strong growth in the next few years, he said.

Semenza is less bullish on the overall revenue outlook for LCDs. He sees a dramatic slowdown in growth this year as prices decline due to economic softness and oversupply. ....

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