Japan’s Pioneer is targeting to sell 7000 plasma TVs in Taiwan in 2007. In 2006, Pioneer reportedly sold 5000 units. Pioneer will focus on increasing the portion of larger models. Case in point: a new 50″ PDP TV was launched in October 2006 and experienced stronger-than-expected (must have had low expectations) demand. Another reason why Taiwanese might go out and purchase more HDTVs in 2007 is the launch of HD digital TV broadcasting in Taiwan. Pioneer captured about 10% of the 42″ PDP TV market in Taiwan in 2006. Even better, Pioneer’s share of 50″ PDP TVs were roughly 37%. The total available market (TAM) for PDP TVs in Taiwan was about 60,000 units in 2006, according to Takashi Fukuro, President of Pioneer High Fidelity Taiwan, a subsidiary of Pioneer.
In my opinion, plasma will need to move toward larger displays. Already, the price difference between a 42″ LCD TV and a plasma TV is almost nothing. With Full HD, 1080p capable LCD TVs in the 40″-42″ range with prices closing in on $2000, it will be very difficult for plasma to compete. 50″ and larger LCD TVs are still relatively expensive to 50″ plasma TVs, but that will change very soon. Sharp’s G8 fab that is optimized for 50″ and larger LCD TV panels is already operational and Samsung’s G8 will soon join the list. When volume production commences that both G8 fabs later in the year, 50″-class LCD TV prices will come down to plasma TV levels in no time.