The World Gone Flat
Clearly, price declines have been a key driver to the rapid growth of flat panel sales. To consumers, the combination of low price and high appeal translates into an attractive value proposition. A recent survey by CEA shows a full 30 percent of consumers expect their next TVs to be flat. Even viewed conservatively, the future for the product category is a bright one. CEA forecasts that combined sales of plasma and LCD will cross the million-unit mark next year, reaching almost 6 million units by 2007. At that point, their combined revenue contribution will have topped $7 billion.
The growth in flat panels is a boon for an industry wracked by a tough economy, aggressive competition and a rough transition from an analog world to a digital one. Flat panel displays have contributed substantially to the DTV portion of the overall display market, pushing it to continuous growth. In fact, 2003 revenues from digital displays are expected to outpace their analog counterparts for the first time. Clearly, the digital transition is well under way, due in part to the wonders of flat panels.
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