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Corning Expects LCD Growth

Photonics.com
Feb 2008
CORNING, N.Y., Feb. 12, 2008 -- Global demand for LCD glass is expected to grow 2 to 30 percent in 2008 -- an increase of more than 450 million square feet of glass, Corning Inc. told investors last week. A compound annual growth rate of 25 percent is expected for the 2007 to 2009 period, it said.

Peter F. Volanakis, Corning’s chief operating officer, who spoke at the company’s annual investor meeting in New York, said expectations are for a tightened supply-and-demand balance, moderate price declines and less significant fluctuations in quarter-to-quarter glass demand patterns. “For Corning, 2008 is expected to be yet another year of process improvement, cost reduction and excellent gross margins,” he said.

“In 2008, we estimate that 105 million LCD TVs will be shipped, reaching 50-percent penetration of the total color TV market.” Average LCD TV screen size is expected to increase from 31.4 inches in 2007 to approximately 34.2 inches in 2009, with total glass demand for LCD TV reaching nearly 1.5 billion square feet that year, he added.

“Corning is proud to be playing a leading role in the display industry as 2008 marks the historic point when LCD becomes the dominant TV technology,” Volanakis said. “Most significantly, LCD is leading in larger screen sizes. We expect 86 percent of the 40-to-49-inch TV segment and almost half of the 50-inch-and-larger segment to be LCD by 2009.”

The company said the number of LCD TVs sold to date represents only 8 percent of the 1.9 billion TVs in use worldwide. In addition, the markets with the largest number of households, like China, are currently the least penetrated. Even in North America and Europe, less than 20 percent of the TVs in use are currently LCD. This represents a significant opportunity for further growth. A 1-percent increase in penetration into the number of TVs in use worldwide would equal an additional 210 million square feet of glass this year, equivalent to approximately 10 percent of the total glass market today, Corning said.

The growing demand for increasingly larger LCD TVs continues to drive the industry’s demand for larger-generation substrates, the company said. “By the end of 2009, demand for Generation (Gen) 8 and larger substrates is expected to be five times that of 2007. Given Corning’s leadership in large-Gen sizes, we expect to perform well in this segment,” Volanakis said.

Corning recently announced its plan to develop Gen 10 glass -- 2850 mm x 3050 mm -- which will be the largest LCD glass substrate available in the market and will allow panel makers to produce a range of panel sizes, including six 65-inch panels. Very large-size glass substrates provide panel customers with greater process efficiency while enabling lower costs and larger screen sizes, ultimately helping to make large LCD TVs more affordable for consumers, Corning said. (See also: Corning to Expand Glass Plant)

“As LCD continues to become the dominant TV technology platform, we need to consider a broader perspective on key factors influencing longer-term growth potential,” Volanakis said. “At Corning, we are starting to explore some new assumptions and the additional growth potential that they could provide the market. These are for consideration only at this point.”

Volanakis said the company's projections are based on assumptions that include the potential for LCD TV to drive category growth above historic norms through an acceleration in the TV replacement cycle; a faster-than-expected rate of decline for the CRT industry; an increased rate for consumer adoption of larger screen sizes; and further share gains in large sizes.

“These are, of course, interdependent factors which may not happen all at once. Much more extensive research and analysis has begun at Corning to refine these assumptions,” Volanakis said. “However, it is noteworthy that the cumulative impact from these assumptions could provide significantly higher demand for LCD glass beyond 2008.”

Increased growth of other display applications also continues to contribute to global LCD glass demand, which is expected to increase from approximately 1.7 billion square feet in 2007 to approximately 2.7 billion square feet in 2009, Corning said. LCD monitors and notebooks continue to be strong driving factors in overall glass demand. Unit growth of small handheld applications with liquid crystal displays is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 16 percent from 2007 to 2009, with glass demand associated with these applications growing nearly 50 percent to 150 million square feet.

Volanakis reviewed technologies recently developed by Corning to address emerging display applications, particularly in the high-end, feature-rich mobile device market, including Jade glass for advanced display; Vita, a hermetic sealing solution for organic LEDs (OLEDs); and Gorilla glass, a scratch-resistant cover glass for touch screens and other applications.

For more information, visit: corning.com


GLOSSARY
photonics
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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