LONDON The average selling prices of small/medium size displays for mobile phones, PDAs, handheld games and automotive applications for long term contracts continued to decline during the third quarter of the year, albeit at a slower pace than in previous quarters, according to market research group DisplaySearch.
Displays for other applications that are typically priced at the spot rate, like digital photo frames and portable DVD players, were up quarter-on-quarter, reflecting the growing trend away from bargain pricing of 7 and 8 inch displays.
DisplaySearch (Austin, TX.) also suggests that digital cameras, with ASPs that generate the lowest revenue/sq. m, increased by 1 to 4 percent in Q3 over the second quarter, and are expected to be flat in Q4.
The firm forecasts overall ASPs to be down 1 percent in the fourth quarter, but up 2 percent in the first quarter of 2008.
DisplaySearch suggests that on a year-on-year basis, ASP reductions are reaching bottom, with a 5 percent decline and 2 percent increase forecasted for Q4'07 and Q1'08, respectively.
On a weighted average basis, ASPs were $8.92, flat Q/Q, but down 16 percent year-on-year. By technology, weighted ASPs for a-Si TFT LCDs and CSTN LCDs which make up 50.1 percent of small/medium display shipments were both down 7 percent Q/Q, and down 17 percent and 23 percent respectively year-on-year.
The market researchers say the rapid drop in CSTN display ASPs is due to excess capacity brought about by losing the battle to a-Si TFT LCDs.
According to Dale. Maunu, DisplaySearch's Vice President:"Small/medium display makers are now in full production, with the Japanese makers moving to more profitable, high-resolution displays used in high-end mobile phones, PNDs, PDA phones and wide-view digital still cameras."
Manu added that the Taiwanese makers have successfully raised prices on lower-end displays, which has reduced the pricing difference between panels from Japanese and Korean suppliers.
The market researchers also note that small/medium displays have only been built on Gen 4 and smaller fabs thus far, but some manufacturers are beginning to use Gen 5 for some medium size that is 7 inch and above applications beginning in Q1í08.
They add that PMLCD ASPs are also bottoming-out or even increasing, as evidenced by some Q/Q ASP growth at the low end, where a-Si TFT LCDs do not compete, like automotive, home and office applications at 5 percent, 4 percent and 16 percent respectively.