LG.Philips LCD Co. Ltd. is looking to dominate the large-panel LCD market by adding manufacturing capacity at its recently opened Generation 5 plant in Kumi, Korea.
The Seoul-based display supplier will ramp up its $1 billion P5 line to produce 30,000 1,100 ?? 1,250mm sheets monthly beginning in the first half of 2003, increasing capacity to 60,000 sheets a month by the end of next year.
This is the company's second recent expansion of plant capacity. In late May, LG.Philips began ramping up its P4 line at the Kumi plant to produce 30,000 1,000 ?? 1,200mm sheets monthly, and is expected to expand to 60,000 sheets monthly by year's end.
"Our expansion efforts will further position us as the large-screen TFT-LCD leader and enable us to meet customer demands for a full lineup of displays in all sizes, ranging from 15in. to over 30in. wide screens for premium monitor and TV usage," said Bruce Berkoff, LG.Philips LCD's executive vice president of marketing, in a statement.
LG.Philips' rapid expansion has temporarily given it the lead in thin-film-transistor LCD plant capacity, according to Paul Semenza, an analyst at Stanford Resources/iSuppli Corp., San Jose.
But Semenza warned that LG.Philips' lead in LCD plant capacity could end quickly, with Korean rival Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. slated to bring a Generation 5 plant on line by the end of the year.
The two will duke it out in the booming market for large (more than 10in.) LCDs in desktop monitors and large TVs, which is expected to grow at a CAGR of 36%, to 104.9 million units in 2006 from 30.9 million units this year, according to Stanford Resources/iSuppli.
In the OEM market for large LCDs, LG.Philips LCD trailed Samsung in both shipments and revenue in the first quarter of 2002, according to DisplaySearch Inc., Austin, Texas.
LG.Philips did, however, overtake its archrival as the leading supplier of LCD desktop monitor modules, capturing 17% of total revenue and 16.3% of total unit volume, compared with 16.9% of total revenue and 14.8% of total unit volume for Samsung, the firm noted.
However, the biggest threat both suppliers face may not be one another but several Taiwan-based suppliers that, according to DisplaySearch, continue to carve out market share in both notebook and desktop monitor LCDs.
The research firm noted that Taiwan-based LCD suppliers saw first-quarter unit shipments rise 18% and revenue jump 31% sequentially, giving them 38% of the total unit market volume and 37.1% of total market revenue-both higher than that of their Korean counterparts. Japanese suppliers continue to lag behind as they shift capacity to small and midsize LCDs.
AU Optronics Corp., Taipei, the third-ranked supplier overall, increased its market share in the first quarter, to 13% from 11.7% the previous quarter, and overtook LG.Philips in notebook LCD shipments, according to DisplaySearch.
Like Korea's suppliers, Taiwan's suppliers are slated to bring on Generation 5 plants beginning next year.