DisplaySearch explained how industry dynamics are causing TFT LCD panel prices to fall quickly this summer in "PC Monitor Panel Price Reaction," a recent article by David Barnes in The DisplaySearch Monitor.
As in past Crystal Cycles, surging investment in new fab capacity is providing LCD panel buyers with the ability to drive prices down as panel suppliers become eager to sell their output. In the prior major cycle, the average PC monitor panel price fell at an annual rate of 50% from Q2?04 to Q1?05. Market indicators suggest the ASP of PC monitor panels may fall at a 30% to 45% annual rate in June and July. The pace of price declines may slow after the summer.
PC monitor panel shipments increased sequentially in Q1?08, contrary to the normal seasonal pattern. At the same time, demand for desktop PCs flattened or declined in developed markets. Prices for desktop PC monitor displays are therefore leading the Crystal Cycle downwards. DisplaySearch also senses weakness in TV panel prices. Global TV brands are introducing low-cost models to compete with new entrants this year. The price targets require reductions in panel prices, particularly of 32" TV panels. The average price of 32" TV panels actually increased in 2007, and those levels are not sustainable as more 42" panels come to market. In addition, DisplaySearch expects weakness in panel pricing will spread to notebook PC displays as early as July.