Corning owns the lion’s share of the LCD glass market worldwide, and the company is gearing up for growth. In preparation for their annual investor meeting on Friday, the company announced that it expects the demand for LCD glass to grow at a compound annual rate of 30 percent for the next two years. By 2008, demand will nearly double this year’s 1.2 billion square feet, to reach 2 billion square feet of glass per year. That’s more than 70 square miles of glass. That’s enough glass to cover the entire island of Manhattan three and a half times!
Two factors are in play to create this rapid growth of demand. First, LCD TVs are becoming more popular as the prices continue to fall. Corning expects LCD TVs to gain 33 percent penetration in the worldwide market this year, and that will climb to 45 percent in 2008. Also, consumers are moving to ever larger LCD HDTVs which require more glass per unit. According to Corning, the average size of an LCD TV sold worldwide today is 28″. The company expects that to rise another 14% to 32″ by 2008.
As LCD HDTVs take market share away from plasma models in the 40″ to 50″ size range, manufacturers will need a lot more glass. At this rate, it won’t take long for the worldwide demand for LCD glass to double again.