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Will LCD TVs follow the PC model?

Posted by: Ihlwan Moon on August 23, 2007

Will Taiwanese contract manufacturers make most LCD TVs in the future just like the way most PCs are produced now? That’s a big question raised after U.S.-based companies Vizio, Syntax-Brillian and Westinghouse emerged as major LCD TV suppliers by outsourcing manufacturing to Taiwanese companies such as Amtran Technology and Hon Hai Precision Industry.

Vizio overtook big TV brand names Samsung, Sharp, Sony and Philips to become the top seller of LCD TVs in North America in the second quarter of this year, according to market researcher iSuppli. “Americans have grown comfortable with value brands, making Vizio’s low-cost sets an alluring alternative to the established names,” says Riddhi Patel, television systems analyst at iSuppli, which predicts contract manufacturers will ship some 61.8 million LCD TVs in 2011, up sharply from just under 12 million in 2006.

However, iSuppli doesn’t seem to believe TVs will go the PC way. It forecasts that even in 2011, the majority of LCD TVs, or 102.3 million sets (up from 29.5 million in 2006), will be made in-house by brand name owners. Big name TV makers such as Sony and Samsung have argued that although low-priced products will get some tractions, many consumers will still look for their sets offering better color and picture quality as well as guaranteed after-sale services. Sharp and other established TV makers are not letting up in building ever more efficient factories to crank out big LCD TVs.

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