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Seiko Epson Aims to Be Top Phone Color LCD Maker In 2003
Jul 1, 2003
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Japanese printer and electronic device manufacturer Seiko Epson Corp. expects to retain the world's top position this year in the market for color liquid crystal displays (LCDs) used in mobile phones, a sales manager said Tuesday.

That would be an important achievement for the manufacturer, as global shipments of handset-use color LCDs will likely reach a record high in 2003, reported Kazuki Ito, executive general manager of the Electronic Devices Marketing & Sales Division.

"This year will be an exciting year" for Seiko Epson, as the shipments will likely exceed those in the high-tech bubble year of 2000, he said at a press gathering.

Seiko Epson ranked number one in the phone-use color display market in 2002 with a share of about 30 percent over rivals Sharp Corp. and Samsung Electronics Co.

According to Mr. Ito, color LCDs will be the profit driver in Seiko Epson's electronic devices business in the current fiscal year through March 2004. The company, he said, is benefiting from explosive growth in the use of color LCD panels in mobile handsets worldwide.

Mr. Ito projects about 30-40 percent of the mobile phones to be shipped in 2003 -- which are estimated to total around 420-440 million units -- will be equipped with color displays. This compares with an estimated ratio of about 10-15 percent last year, he said.

"Next year the usage will reverse," with the ratio of color displays outstripping that of monochrome displays, Mr. Ito said. "In other words, we will likely be able to enjoy (brisk color LCD orders) next year as well." (Dow Jones)

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