29- to 32-inch segment to become LCD-TV mainstream

You mean that these things are selling? With the popularity of plasma, I am actually shocked to see LCD television in the press at all anymore. Having said this, the sales of the LCD TVs are still climbing, even while I remain skeptical until that price starts to drop to a human level.

Although LCD-TV panel prices did not slump as much as those of TFT-LCD panels last year, market research firms and financial firms did end up readjusting their 2005 forecasts for the LCD-TV industry. DigiTimes recently interviewed David Hsieh, president of DisplaySearch’s Taiwan office, to talk about the global LCD-TV market, the key-component industry and the firmís upcoming flat-panel conference.

Q: Late last year, DisplaySearch estimated that the global LCD-TV market is expected to reach about 16 million units in 2005 Ė a much more optimistic appraisal than those of other market research firms. The Taiwan-based Photonics Industry & Technology Development Association (PIDA) expects the market will reach around 14.9 million units in 2005, while the South Korea-based DisplayBank and the US-based International Data Corporation (IDC) have forecast demand to reach 11 million units and 13.8 million units, respectively. Can you explain why DisplaySearch is more optimistic about the industry?

A: LCD-TV demand began picking up at the end of 2004, and three million LCD TVs (all over 10 inches) were shipped in the fourth quarter. We expect continued price falls to push demand for LCD TVs even further this year, and we remain confident that the LCD-TV market will reach 16 million units. In fact, if you include shipments of multifunctional monitors (MFMs), shipments of LCD displays with TV functionality will reach 17-million units this year.