After years of rapid growth, worldwide equipment spending for liquid crystal display (LCD) plants is expected to decline 26 percent this year, research firm DisplaySearch reported.
Last year, global LCD equipment spending totaled U.S. $12.5 billion, up 97 percent from the previous year, according to the U.S.-based researcher. The overinvestment is expected to extend the current weak pricing environment, slowing the pace of investment, DisplaySearch said. In 2006, a larger decline is also projected.
Taiwan made the largest amount of LCD equipment spending from 2003 to 2005. In 2006, South Korea is forecast to regain the lead on continued strong investment, while Taiwanese manufacturers hold off on so-called seventh-generation LCD investments until 2007.
Succeeding generations in LCD panels allow manufacturers to produce larger screens at a lower cost, DisplaySearch said.
South Korea is home to the world's largest LCD makers such as Samsung Electronics Co. and LG.Philips LCD Co. Earlier statements from DisplaySearch said the global LCD panel market is forecast to grow 21 percent to $43 billion this year. (Yonhap)
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