For years, Japan dominated LCD production. Then Korea took the top spot, on the strength of two juggernauts: Samsung and LG.Philips. Now, according to at least two market tracking services, Taiwanese companies have overtaken Korea, and produce more LCD panels — larger than 10 inches diagonal — than any other country.
Almost all the major LCD companies have been pouring billions of dollars into new fabrication lines, capable of handling larger and larger sheets of glass at a time. They are chasing economies of scale, and the ability to produce enormous panels in sizes that once were only available as plasma or rear-projection.
One result of all this expanded capacity is that production appears to be exceeding demand. In fact, analysts seem to agree that there will be a surplus of LCD panels on the market for most of the rest of this year. This is likely to put additional downward pressure on prices, as manufacturers try to move expensive inventory. The result is that we are likely to see lower prices late this summer or early fall, well in advance of the holiday buying season.