The price of LCD based HDTV panels have finally hit rock bottom, so says LG Chief executive Kwon Young-Soo. If you’re sitting on the fence about a new LCD panel purchase – the steep price drops might have already subsided, if LG is to be believed. As the world’s second largest LCD manufacturer LG should know a thing or two about their value. After all, the company was one of those implicated of LCD price fixing earlier this decade.
It’s been a tough quarter all around, the pain of recent financial hard times hasn’t spared South Korea’s LG. The company reported its worst-ever quarterly loss, mostly due to the free-falling price of LCD panels. That it was treated to a $400 million US fine for its part in the price fixing scandal certainly hasn’t helped.
The troubles aren’t unique to LG. The LCD market worldwide is soft on profit due to declining prices and limited demand in the wake of our current financial crunch. Analysts predict all LCD manufacturer’s will suffer further losses in the first half of 2009.
But Mr. Kwon sees a silver lining for the LCD market. He believes it has hit bottom, now the only direction it can go is up.
“TV panel prices will likely stop the downward trend and recover.” Kwon said.
This could mean the significant price drops we’ve seen on big-screen HDTVs quarter after quarter could be at an end. If prices level off it might not be great for consumers looking for a bargain but it might mean a more stable market for manufacturers.
In the face of short-term bad news for HDTV LCD panels, LG plans to adjust investments by putting its money behind premium LCD screens for mobile devices.
The company is investing heavily (to the tune of $427 million) into LTPS or low temperature polysilicon technology. The new mini- LCD panel technology will help LG remain competitive in the growing Smartphone market.