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Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Samsung Electronics, LG Philips LCD to Focus on Small LCD Panel Markets


Samsung Electronics and LG Philips LCD, are branching out into the market for small LCD panels used for mobile phones as well as other portable multimedia appliances.

These applications include MP3 players, portable multimedia players (PMPs), game gadgets, PDAs, DVD players and car navigation systems.

During the latest 6 months, Samsung Electronics sold around 4.5 million units of small LCD panels a month on an average, while LG Philips LCD selling around an average of 3.5 million units of such panels a month.

Flanked by aggressive assaults of LCD manufacturers in Japan and Taiwan, these two companies have experienced difficulties in augmenting their presence in the market for small LCD panels.

Sharp of Japan plans to beef up production capacity of 2-inch panels from 170 million units last year to 300 million units this year. AUO and CMO of Taiwan recently expanded their annual production capacity of 2-inch panels to 100 million units and 40 million units, respectively.

As part of strategies to increase their share in small LCD market, Samsung Electronics and LG Philips LCD are concentrating their resources on exploring markets for new portable apparatuses.

Samsung Electronics primarily targets market for LCDs used for PDAs, MP3 players and PMPs. Since last year, Samsung Electronics has been supplying LCD panels for PDA phones to HP and Research In Motion (RIM). The LCD maker is also providing Reigncom with thin film transistor LCD panels for Reigncom's new MP3 player "U10". Samsung Electronics is also rapidly increasing its share in the market for panels for PMPs.

LG Philips LCD has supplied large volume of LCD panels to a portable DVD player maker in China since last year, accounting for 30% of the market. The company is also increasing its shipment to car navigation system market that had been dominated by TMD and Sharp of Japan.

In related news, LG.Philips LCD could soon become an orphan, as both of its parent companies have plans to lessen their stakes in the company.

Philips said it will sell approximately 6,710,000 secondary shares of common stock in the form of ADSs, with each ADS representing one-half of one share of common stock.

Philips may sell all, or a portion of the common shares represented by the ADSs it intends to sell in this offering, and additional common shares, in a private placement in Korea, which will take place concurrently with this offering.

Further, parent company number two, LG Electronics Inc., is also considering the sale of a portion of its interest in the thin-film transistor liquid crystal display technology player in the same private placement, the statement said.

Both parent companies will have to decide on the number of shares to be offered. However, Philips and LGE intend to sell the same number of shares so that their respective ownership interest in the company following these concurrent sales will remain identical.


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