A shortage of components for TFT LCD (thin film transistor liquid crystal display) monitors in Taiwan should limit supplies until 2001 and stand in the way of any price reductions in computer notebooks, an International Data Corp study says.
The Taiwan earthquake that stalled manufacturing in other sectors of the computer industry is having only a temporary impact on LCD manufacturers. For months prior to the earthquake, factories have been struggling to keep up with demand for LCD monitors, said Bob O'Donnell, IDC research manager for PC displays.
The suppliers of key components to LCD manufacturers are themselves short of supplies, he said.
The components include motherglass, condensers, colour filters, polar-ising filters, capacitors and resistors.
As a result, notebook prices remain high. "LCD-based monitor prices are about the same or higher compared to last year, which is unheard of in the computer industry," O'Donnell said.
Although PC prices dropped below $US1000 this year, notebook prices remain at about $1500, he said.
It will take until early 2000 for LCD supply to catch up with demand, O'Donnell said.
The IDC bulletin TFT LCD Supply to Worsen Amid Parts Shortages estimates that Taiwan accounts for 50 per cent of worldwide notebook production and 33 per cent of LCD monitor production.