Matsushita has been crowned the top plasma display panel (PDP) supplier in 2006. Other competitors include LG Electronics (LGE), Fujitsu Hitachi Plasma Display (FHPD), Samsung SDI and Pioneer to name a few. Because LGE and SDI started to experience declining shipments in the fourth quarter, the Korean PDP suppliers lost ground to the Japanese. This is according to Displaybank, a market research company based in South Korea as reported in Tech On.
This might be old news to many but PDP TVs are on the way out, especially out of the mainstream market. The reason is the onslaught of LCD TVs with aggressive pricing and an army of brands hitting all price points. Today, LCD TVs can be had for very good prices all the way up to 47″. 50″ and larger LCD TVs are still quite expensive and cannot compete very well with PDP TV’s on screen performance such as contrast ratio and response time. But that will change if Samsung (and Sony) and Sharp have it their way. These companies are investing heavily in G8 fabs that can efficiently churn out 50″ and larger LCD TVs this year. That means PDP suppliers will be pushed into the 60″ and larger size category, a very small market. Matsushita has announced some very hefty investments that will enable it to compete against LCD, but my bets are on LCD.