Flat-screen maker LG.Philips LCD Co. Ltd. plans to raise prices for some liquid crystal displays (LCDs), ending a long downturn, a source close to the company said.
LCD prices have tumbled since last year, eating into manufacturers' profits because demand for expensive flat-screen televisions has fallen short of the industry's expectations.
"LG.Philips has told its customers its intention to raise the price of 17-in LCDs for PC monitors on strong demand and they are negotiating," the source told Reuters. "But prices are still falling for smaller LCDs."
LG Electronics Inc., which owns half of the company and buys 12 percent of its output, said it would raise prices for 17-in LCD monitors by 5 percent.
The moves are the first signs of a rebound in LCD prices, which nosedived to U.S. $169 in the fourth quarter from a peak of around $294 in the second quarter. Analysts expect LCD prices to fall an additional 5 percent this quarter.
Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., said to be the world's top LCD maker, said prices would not rise until the fourth quarter.
Analysts say prices for computer LCDs are likely to recover sooner than those for large-sized TVs.
Screen makers plan to invest more than $40 billion over the next decade in factories for making TVs as thin as a picture frame, pushing down prices. The upgrade from traditional cathode-ray tubes is the biggest change in TV technology since the switch from black-and-white.
The world LCD TV market is growing fast. According to Display Search, LCDs already account for 31 percent of TVs of 28-in screens and larger. They are expected to account for 45 percent this year and 60 percent by 2007. (Reuters)
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