Focus is on 42″ LCD TV

Sony and Samsung is pushing 40" LCD TVs to everyone and in doing so is bleeding massive amounts of money. Samsung and Sony's joint venture, S-LCD, is a G7-based TFT LCD manufacturing plant that is optimized for 40" TFT LCD panel production. Because the G7 fab is new, the cost of manufacturing is high. But if you look at the retail prices for Sony and Samsung-branded 40" LCD TVs, they are very aggressively priced. Samsung's LN-R408D pricing is as low as $1600 in the US while Sony's KDL-40S2000 goes for $1900 and Sony's Bravia KDL-V40XGR1 is around $2300. They know that once LCD manufacturers start mass producing 42", they will have a big fight on their hands. So, might as well grab as much market share as possible now, they figure. Oh, if everything was that simple.

The price leader right now for 42" LCD TVs is Syntax, with their LT42HVi at $1700, it is a great value. Three TFT LCD manufacturers are betting on 42" and the bet is in the multi-billions of dollars. A very large bet! The three are AUO, CMO and LPL. Two have G7 fabs with a motherglass size of 1950*2250mm that can produce eight 42" TFT LCD panels. CMO will use its new G5 fab (1100*1300mm) to produce 42" (two per motherglass) and 47" (same as 42") LCD modules. By 2H'07, 42" volumes are expected to beat out 40". LPL's yields for 42" production has been reported to be better than expected and output should be around 50,000 per month (not 100,000 like Digitimes reported because it takes two sheets to form one module). AUO will commence mass production in Q4'06. CMO will enter MP in Q2'07 at its new G7 fab with total capacity roughly the same as LPL's.

Leave a Reply