Samsung Display Co., a flat-panel unit of Samsung Electronics Co., on Friday offered a bearish outlook for the global liquid crystal display (LCD) industry, with its top executive predicting that prices of the screens will continue to fall next year in the face of weaker demand.
Hit by sluggish demand and a supply glut, the global shipments of LCD panels fell to 58 million units in the third quarter of this year, from 58.8 million in the previous quarter, marking the first quarterly decline, according to data by industry research firm IHS iSuppli.
"The global LCD market remains sluggish amid a supply glut, and I think that LCD prices will continue to fall next year," Kim Ki-nam, the president & CEO of Samsung Display, said during a press meeting in the eastern Chinese city of Suzhou, where the company completed construction of a new 8th-generation LCD plant.
"It is unavoidable for us to undergo such market difficulties," Kim said.
Samsung Display is supplying most of its LCD panels and organic light emitting diode (OLED) screens for TVs and smartphones made by its parent company, Samsung Electronics.
"As part of our efforts to overcome the difficult market, we are now in negotiations with other clients such as Nokia and HTC to diversify our revenue portfolio," Kim said.
The US$300 million new facility in Suzhou, a city one hour by car from China's commercial hub of Shanghai, is capable of churning out as many as 80,000 standard LCD panels per month, Samsung officials said.
It took 17 months for Samsung to complete the cutting-edge flat-panel plant inside the Suzhou Industrial Park in China, the world's largest market for LCD TVs.
"China is the world's only LCD TV market that is expected to grow next year," Kim said.