Philips Order 42″ LCD TV Panels from AUO

DigiTimes: This is an interesting turn of events. As you know, Philips is part owner of LG.Philips LCD (LPL). LPL is one of the top LCD manufacturers in the world and its G7 fab that just recently start mass production focuses on 42″ and 47″ LCD TV panels. It seems Philips is using Chinese TV integrator Xiamen Overseas Chinese Electronics to build its 42″ LCD TVs and in turn Xiamen is prefering to use 42″ LCD TV panels from AUO rather than LPL.

The AUO-built 42″ panel is different from LPL’s from a technical point of view. LPL is one of only two LCD manufacturers that build panels using a technology called In-Plane Switching (IPS). The other one is IPS Alpha, based in Japan. For some reason, Apple’s LCD monitors and all-in-ones like its iMacs only use IPS panels supplied by LPL, and for good reason.

Personally, I think they look better. And if customers of Apple, like designers for instance, like using these displays, there must be something there. Apple knows its customers and what they need: displays that have accurate color reproduction. I have digressed a mile. AUO uses vertical alignment (VA) technology for its panels. VA is simpler to manufacture and results in slightly better cost structures that leads to panels that are cheaper for folks such as Xiamen to procure. This in turn makes Philips happy because they are building a 42″ LCD TV that costs less, meaning either a cheaper price at Best Buy, or more profit margins with the same price at Best Buy. I hope Apple makes a LCD TV with IPS panels soon in the future. I’ll be a customer of that for sure.

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