Originally Posted by HTguru3
A bigger question would be is there enough of a market to make the larger panels profitable enough to sustain a company who is struggling at the more mainstream size market? Does anyone have any real numbers as to the breakdown of the volume of sales for the listed sizes, 40", 47", 50", 55", 60" 65", 70" and 80"? I'm not all that convinced a company can live off of 70" and 80" sales.
So far, the 70"+ market represents about 0.1%-0.2% of the total TV market. Very, very approximately (although Sharp told us enough publicly I'm confident the number is correct "enough"), Sharp sold 250K-400K 70"+ TVs last years on a global market of about 240 million sets.
They also dominated in the 60" category, which is much larger overall -- use 10x as large for an approximation with a decently large error margin. It's worth noting that they have absolutely no competition at 70" and relatively little at 60" (there are Panasonics in the market to be sure, but LG and Samsung actually make very, very few 60" panels because -- again -- they are limited to an 8G LCD fab).
It is nearly impossible to justify anyone building a 10G LCD at this point, which puts Sharp in a unique position. They are the only folks who can realistically benefit from any shift toward larger sizes (Panasonic can, too, but is currently limited to 60s and 65s and is in full on retrenchment/schizophrenia mode with their strategy right now). Sharp, instead of price gouging there, is using moderate retail pricing to boost the size of the markets it dominates. It's pretty sound strategy.
Is this a profit-making engine of sufficient size that Sharp can solely exist in TVs
up there? I really don't know. But I imagine they can grow their market segment a good 20-40% per year from here (revenue basis) for at least a few years. To be honest, wasting time trying to sell 46" TVs against Samsung would not realistically help them in this endeavor.
Originally Posted by irkuck
Sharp may count only on their 100% market share in the supersized segment. Is this enough to be profitable is difficult to say. From the traditional LCD mass-manufacturing point it is impossible but maybe Sharp made something to make it possible.
The capacity of Sakai is ~5 million 70" displays (72,000 substrates per month) or ~6.5 million 60". The more of one size, the less of the other. They basically did less than 1/4 of what the plant is capable of last year, according to their own statements about how many displays they shipped.
So the questions are (a) did this make them any money? (b) how much growth do they need -- and how soon -- to make this worthwhile to continue? (c) is there enough demand to take the 70" market up from, say, 300K, to 1 million over the next 3-4 years? Legitimate concerns.
So Sony took 8 ys of losses before figuring this out.
I'm not sure they've figured it out yet. They are still focused on wrapping their brand around other people's panels. This has not yielded a profit for a single company in the HD era.