LCD Monitor Price Hikes Coming, Says Philips Exec

Supplies of 15- and 17-inch LCD monitor panels are tightening, as suppliers shift to more profitable notebook panels and bigger monitors.
MANHASSET, N.Y. — After dropping for nearly half a year, prices of some liquid crystal display (LCD) monitors are slated to rise as monitor suppliers increasingly get squeezed by panel suppliers, said Chris Pollitt, product marketing manager of LCD monitors for Business Solutions of Philips Consumer Electronics.

During an interview with EE Times here Monday, Politt said supplies of 15- and 17-in. LCD monitor panels were starting to tighten, in turn forcing suppliers who have up to now cut profits in order to sell through inventories to consider raising monitor prices.

"The market sets the price," Pollitt said, adding that Philips would not raise prices first but likely follow competitors such as Viewsonic, Samsung, and NEC Electronics in doing so.

One reason for the monitor prices hikes, said Pollitt, was that LCD panel suppliers have channeled much of the available production capacity for medium-sized panels to more profitable notebook panels as well as larger 19 and 20 in. monitors, limiting capacity for 15 and 17 in. monitors.

For the first half of 2004, monitor prices kept rising, according to Pollitt. But a combination of higher prices and additional capacity caused monitor prices to fall steadily from the middle of 2004 through the early part of this year.

How much monitor prices will rise is not known, but Pollitt doesn't believe they will rise enough to hurt demand.

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