Sources from panel makers say there's a shortage of LCD monitors, a problem they attribute to monitor makers and brand vendors having lower-than-usual panel inventory levels, news and rumor site DigiTimes reports.
The sources note that panel makers were expecting a low fourth quarter and took to reducing output, but are now being caught off guard by a flurry of orders now that panel prices have dropped below cost levels.
A panel shortage doesn't bode well for the mobile market, which is expected to ship a ton of notebooks going into 2010. This has notebook makers scrambling to secure LED supplies as they compete with LCD TV makers for inventory. LED-backlit LCD TV shipments are expected to increase six-fold to more than 30 million units in 2010, with LED-backlit notebooks expected to account for 80 percent of the 160 million notebooks (not counting netbooks) to be shipped next year.
Thanks in part to native support in Windows 7 and falling LCD panel pricing (price fixing allegations notwithstanding), the time is right for touch technology to really take off on the desktop. Enter Chunghwa Picture Tubes (CPT), the Taiwan-based panel maker who just launched a 21.5-inch projected capacitive touch panel.
Details remain pretty sparse, but according to Wolf Chen, VP of CPT, the 21-5-inched panel is currently being validated by clients. But that's not all the company has been up to. CPT said it has also started shipping 10.1-inch projective capacitive touch panels and 3D panels.
The company isn't putting all its eggs into one capacitive basket, however, and is also developing touch panels using two other technologies, including optical touch and in-cell photo sensing. Panels built around these two technologies will start shipping in early 2010, the company says.
Who knows how much artificially inflated LCD panel pricing ended up costing consumers in the long run, but for Chi Mei Optoelectronics (CMO), the company's alleged involvement in the antitrust case brought on by the U.S. Department of Justice will cost it $220 million, the amount of the plea agreement.
Under terms of the agreement, CMO will pay the fine in installments over a period of five years. In addition to forking over $220 million, the panel maker has also agreed to cooperate with the DOJ's ongoing investigation
Allegations of price fixing in the LCD industry have received a fair amount of attention the past couple of years. In 2008, several LCD makers were charged with artificially inflating panel prices, which ultimately led to LG, Sharp, and Chungwa agreeing to plead guilty and pay a total of $585 million in fines. And more recently, Nokia called shenanigans on Samsung, LG, AU Optronics, and other LCD manufacturers, all of which Nokia is suing for allegedly colluding to fix prices.
Coming as somewhat of a surprise, Kodak announced it is selling all the assets of its OLED business to a group of LG companies.
OLED technology hasn't yet hit its stride, but is gaining steam, particularly in the handheld market, as prices continue to come down. Kodak, however, isn't turning its back on OLED completely. Through a signed cross-license agreement with LG, the company will still have access to OLED technology, and both will have broad access to each other's patent portfolio, TGDaily reports.
As part of the license agreement, Kodak will also receive royalties, through the company didn't say how much. This and other financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Well what do you know, someone's finally gone and done it, and that someone is LG. What exactly are we talkinga bout? Releasing the world's first Full-HD 3D monitor.
We're told the display is already on store shelves, but details remain sparse. Here's what we do know: It's a 23-inch display suitable for both gamers and those who dabble in 3D broadcasts. The underlying technology is based on the "Shutter Glasses" technology, though seamless switching between 2D and 3D means you won't need to don a pair of goofy glasses every time you use the monitor, only when viewing 3D content.
And that's pretty much it, at least until LG divulges more info. Should they wait too long, though, they run the risk of being overshadowed of competitive models that are likely on the horizon, especially with CES just around the corner.
If you're hoping to score an LCD monitor upgrade in time for Christmas vacation, you may not want to procrastinate until the last minute. Citing anonymous industry sources, DigiTimes says LCD displays could go up a tick in price this month as retail channels start to restock their inventories.
The sources note that monitor panels have already dropped below costs, so there really isn't much room for any more price drops. This has caused vendors to replenish their stock.
There wasn't a lot of monitor growth in the third quarter, largely the result of rabid demand for notebooks and netbooks. Because of this, retailers ended up with high monitor inventories and lower prices. LCD makers responded by cutting their supply to the monitor segment.
Know of a good deal on an LCD monitor? Hit the jump and share the link!
The current method for displaying images in a Google search is a row of four similarly sized images. Maybe what you want shows up in the line-up, maybe it doesn’t. The only way to know for sure is to click through to the image results page.
The new method will show one large image, with a two rows of smaller images to the side. With more images available it will be easier to determine if you’ve got the right results from your search.
The new format is expected to be available within the next twenty-four hours.
The LCD price fixing shenanigans continue, at least according to Nokia, the world's largest mobile phone maker who has filed suit against Samsung, LG, AU Optronics, and other LCD manufacturers over allegedly colluding to fix prices, Bloomberg reports.
Filed on November 25, the lawsuit is based on both federal and state antitrust claims and makes essentially the same arguments as AT&T did last month when it filed a suit in the same court, also against LCD manufacturers. According to Nokia, Samsung and more than six other LCD makers conspired to raise the price of displays.
"The liquid-crystal displays were incorporated into Nokia mobile wireless handsets," according to the complaint. The conspiracy "artificially inflated the price of liquid crystal displays ultimately incorporated into LCD products purchased by Nokia, causing Nokia to pay higher prices."
Each of the suits direct the court's attention to a U.S. Justice Department investigation of display price fixing. Hitachi, who pleaded guilty in March in the inquiry, is one of the defendants named in Nokia's suit, but not AT&T's.
Want to know what's even better than Ostendo's 43-inch CRVD curved display? Having three of them side-by-side, that's what. It isn't cheap, and at $6,500 each, three of them will run almost $20,000. That's a lot of scratch, but then again, have you seen this video?
According to Ostendo, the curved monitor measures 43 inches and offers an ultra-wide 32:10 aspect ratio, which is 180 percent wider than 16:9 displays and 240 percent wider than 4:3 monitors. It works with existing videocards and doesn't require any special hardware, software, or drivers, other than a graphics card powerful enough to push gaming pixels at a 2880x900 resolution.
Whoever is the first to market with a next-gen handheld tablet will have accomplished what's becoming a tremendous feat: shipping the freaking thing. Michael Arrington insists that his CrunchPad hasn't entered the realm of vaporware, and Apple still continues to deny the existence of its own tablet, which the most recent rumor says will ship sometime in the second half of 2010.
And then there's the Archos 9 PC Tablet, which went up for order on October 22nd, but is still a few weeks away from shipping, SlashGear reports. If you plan on picking one up at retail, expect to wait even longer. According to Archos, the 8.9-inch Windows 7 UMPC won't arrive in stores until sometime in the first quarter of 2010.
Archos didn't say what's causing the delay, and it will be interesting to see how the pushed-back launch affects sales. By the time the tablet ships, Intel will be churning out next-gen Atom chips, making the Archos' 1.1GHz Atom Z515 even more unappealing.