Originally Posted by anthonymoody
One can almost sorta kinda envision a world where there is really only one panel mfr left standing, and everyone else has either exited entirely, or simply buys panels from the sole provider and does what they can to differentiate via electronics (and marketing...)
Is Sharp's 12G fab the only one? Who is going to spend twenty bazillion dollars building another at this point when they seem to make peanuts on each panel if they're lucky.
It's a 10G fab (which logistics-wise is about as big as the world is likely to see, bigger motherglass is very difficult to handle), and, yes, it's the only one on earth currently in existence. No others are even planned. It's a big plant, but could only make about 5 million 70" panels per year. While that's plenty for now, in theory that wouldn't satisfy the industry sometime down the road, for example.
Anyway, I don't see this all consolidating to one manufacturer, but I do see people exiting / merging. Flat panels are not unlike hard drives: There's a huge market, but no one has really ever made money selling the underlying component.