MANILA, Philippines For the second consecutive quarter, Japan has fallen out of the global lead in TFT-LCD production as its industry undertakes a massive restructuring in response to a protracted economic downturn.
The market share decline in large, thin-film-transistor LCDs was the result of Japanese manufacturers' decision to focus on small and medium-size displays for personal digital assistants and car navigation systems, according to industry quarterly results. (Click here for chart.)
South Korea and Taiwan gained market share at the expense of Japan during the second quarter. South Korean LCD market share jumped to 41.5 percent from 39.1 percent in the first quarter, while Taiwan's rose to 22.7 percent from 17.6 percent. Japan's TFT-LCD shipments dropped to 35.7 percent from 43.1 percent in the period.
Most Japanese suppliers lost market share, with only Sharp Corp. and IBM Japan reporting double-digit sequential growth. Sharp, IBM and Hitachi recorded double-digit year-on-year growth.
South Korea's Samsung maintained both the highest unit and the highest revenue share for the second consecutive quarter. Shipments rose 40.6 percent over 2000 figures and 15.1 percent over the first quarter of this year, to more than 2.1 million panels.
Nevertheless, Samsung's market share dropped slightly to 20.1 percent as its revenue from large displays continued to decline for the fourth consecutive quarter.
On a unit basis, Samsung's share of the notebook PC module market fell 2 percent to 23.3 percent in the second quarter. Notebook modules accounted for 70 percent of the company's total shipments. Samsung's share in LCD monitor modules rose 0.5 percent, to 16.8 percent.
Also in South Korea, LG Philips registered strong gains, with shipments up 91.9 percent over 2000 and up 51 percent in the second quarter, to nearly 2 million units. Its market share rose to 18.8 percent during the period, although revenue fell 10 percent compared with last year.
LG's notebook module shipments rose 34 percent, boosting its market share in the sector to 17.2 percent in the second quarter. Shipments of LCD monitor modules rose 87 percent, bringing LG's market share to 22.3 percent.
Taiwan's AU Optronics, the company formed by the recent Acer Display-Unipac merger, became the No. 3 supplier of TFT-LCDs on a unit basis and is ranked fifth in revenue.
Kathryn Gerardino is an editor at sister publication EE Times-Asia.