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Flat Screens Take Flight

Boot Camp feature for Wednesday, February 4, 2004

Flat screens take flight. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Sales of flat screen LCD TVs doubled in 2003... .and may triple this year. That's what the industry is forecasting according to Bob Scaglione, VP at Sharp's consumer electronics group. Sharp has been a pioneer in the LCD TV business with its Aquos line... .and has a market share of better than 50 percent. It now faces competition not only from other consumer electronics makers like Samsung, Panasonic and Sony... but from computer makers such as Gateway, Dell and Hewlett Packard. And while Scaglione says...

"We're welcoming the competition because it's really justifying the category. We really think that consumers now will see LCD as the display choice for future television viewing."

While manufacturing shortages are keeping prices fairly high for now... .new capacity and that competition from PC makers could mean lower prices later this year and next year. Sharp hopes to convince consumers not to shop strictly on price...

"And that's why we're working with our retail partners to make sure that consumers know that if they're going to buy a display product, they should go into a store to see one. It's a little bit different with PCs. You can buy a Dell or Gateway PC online and you didn't necessarily need to see the performance because you trusted the performance because these are PC manufacturers."

The problem for Sharp, Samsung and others is... those PC makers have gotten used to selling at lower profit margins than are typically found in consumer electronics.