More than 16.5 square miles of flat panels produced in 2006

Posted by Wolfgang Gruener

Austin (TX) - Flat panel display (FPD) makers will shatter several new records in 2006, as the industry continues to grow rapidly. Driven by the TV segment, production output is expected to grow 12% to 3.6 billion panels and revenues are estimated to climb 13% to more than $84 billion.

According to Displaysearch, the 2006 production of FPDs represents a combined area of 42.8 million square meters or slightly more than 16.5 square miles, which is enough to cover 5711 soccer fields or the entire area of a small Midwestern suburb, such as St. Charles, IL, which is home to about 32,000 people.

Responsible for the double-digit growth is once again the TV segment, which is expected to increase its revenues by 60% to $29.6 billion - which translates into a 35% share of all 2006 flat panel revenues, up from 25% in 2005 and 16% in 2004.

Within the FPD TV segment, LCD TV panels are expected to rise from a 66% share in 2005 to a 71% share in 2006. Revenues will climb about 73% growth to $21.1 billion with plasma TV panels falling from a 31% to a 27% share despite 39% growth in 2006 to $7.9 billion, Displaysearch said.

Desktop LCDs are estimated to experience a revenue decline of 9% this year, down to $19.2 billion. Notebook LCDs will loose about 2% to $9.1 billion, while Cellphone LCD sales are expected to shrink 1% to $12.5 billion, the market research firm estimates. Despite the fact that 2006 will be the first year that TV FPD have surpassed the revenue base of desktop LCDs and is still growing quickly, Displaysearch believes that notebook PC and LCD monitor revenues combined will outpace LCD TV revenues through late 2008.