According to new research from IDC, dropping price points and growing interest in high-definition television will drive flat-panel TV display shipments to 50 million units in 2007. Sprouting from meager beginnings at the start of this century, flat-panel TVs accounted for just 0.5% of the worldwide TV market in 2000. As the market continues to accelerate, flat TVs will quickly account for 27% of the worldwide market by 2007. Adoption rates in the U.S. will be even more aggressive.
Research firm TrendFocus sees hard drive shipments to consumer electronics makers soaring to 55 million units in 2006 from an estimated 17 million this year. Blazing a trail for the market is Japan’s Toshiba, which provides small drives for Apple Computer’s hugely popular iPod music player. Toshiba controls 98% of the market for the 1.8 inch-diameter drives used in the iPod, which can pack up to 10,000 songs in a device the size of a deck of cards, and its small drives are also appearing in a miniature video camera that can record up to two hours of high-definition video.
Informa Media Group estimates that there will be 30.7 million digital TV households in Europe this year, and projects that the UK will claim the greatest share of this market with over 10.8 million. Informa projects over 60 million more households will gain digital TV in the region over the coming years to hit 97.1 million digital TV households by the end of 2010. Informa notes that by 2010, over 97 million digital TV households in Europe will translate into 41% of all TV households in the area with digital TV. Informa notes that in the UK, 66% of TV households will be digital while 81% of TV households in Sweden, 70% of TV households in Switzerland and 60% of TV households in the Netherlands will be digital.
The Motion Picture Association of America, however, estimates that about 90% of films on peer-to-peer networks originated from camcorder versions of films, and is working to enact laws that will penalize those who surreptitiously record films in movie theaters.
Nomura Securities estimates the global DVD recorder market will reach 500 billion yen ($4.6 billion) this year, while Pioneer estimates global demand to more than double next year to 8.24 million units from a forecast for 3.6 million units this year. Market leader Matsushita Electric Industrial Co Ltd., maker of the Panasonic brand, Pioneer and Toshiba Corp gained an early advantage, but competitors at home and abroad are aggressively trying to close the gap with new products.
Prices for integrated MPEG-2 chips used in DVD recorders are expected to drop from about US$40 currently to below US$30 in the second half of 2004, as a result of intensified competition and greater pressure from clients to lower costs, sources at international chip suppliers said. The integrated MPEG-2 solution for DVD recorders combines the functions of a decoder and encoder. While international companies dominate the market, major Taiwanese optical storage IC design firms, including MediaTek and ALi, are expected to join the competition in the second half of 2004, sources said. The international companies, including ESS Technology, Royal Philips Electronics, LSI Logic and Cirrus Logic, are selling MPEG-2 and servo IC chipsets at about US$40-45, but expect the prices to drop to about US$35 in the first half of next year and to around US$30 in the second half, sources said.