Among some of the hardest hit technology firms in the global economic downturn are LCD makers. As demand for products like TVs, notebooks, and other products using LCDs dropped, companies like LG, the world's second largest LCD maker, have been on rough times.
Those tough times may soon be over according to LG chief executive Kwon Young-soo. The executive told attendees at a press conference that the market had hit bottom and prices were expected to begin to rise again. Kwon said, "The good news is that we've reached a bottom. TV panel prices will likely stop the downward trend and recover."
Analysts expect LCD makers to continue losing money through the first half of 2009 as the demand for electronics continues to decline. Kwon's firm LG reported its worst quarterly results ever last week. The main source of the massive loss the firm posted was due to the $400 million fine that was imposed on the company in the U.S. LCD price fixing scandal.
LG also announced last week that it would refocus on high-end mobile displays. The company will invest 577 billion won (about $427 million USD) to build a new production line to produce the premium screens for mobile devices.
The new line will build displays using LTPS (low temperature polysilicon) technology that will allow the screens to produce better images and allow LG to get into the booming smartphone market. With the investment into mobile phone LCD making, LG will be competing head-to-head with Sharp Corp and Samsung Mobile Display.