Vendor View : Behind the Panel

September 1, 2009
By: Nancy Klosek

In our recent "Behind the Panel" series with top television manufacturers, we asked executives about the flat-panel shortages that have plagued the channel since late last year. Here's what they had to say: 

Bob Scaglione, senior vice president and group manager, Sharp: The only area where we're experiencing shortages is the 32-inch screen size, and I've heard we're not the only ones in the industry; it's across the board. We're hearing that should clear up by the fourth quarter. With the economy, 40-inch aspiring purchasers settled for 32-inch. Also, it's the 'natural' screen size for the 27-inch tube consumer looking to replace that set - folks getting around to buying a digital TV. 

Tim Alessi, Product Development Director, LG: Panel supply has been a challenge since Christmastime for everyone in the industry. Demand is still strong but there have been some missed opportunities because of shortages. The situation has been steadily improving, and is not going to last forever. I think we've seen the worst of it. We should start seeing normalized supply levels to take advantage of the demand that's out there.

Nate Kraft, senior marketing manager, LCD TV, Sony: We are following the panel marketplace like everyone else and we keep a close eye both on current business conditions. We have skilled people within our supply-chain group who have a continual focus not just on getting TVs to market today but also on making sure that we have the right amount of TVs to satisfy our customers' demands moving into the future.

Laynie Newsome, vice president of sales and marketing Vizio: The LCD panel market is very commoditized. And now, with worldwide demand exceeding supply, some sizes are in short supply. But we are not feeling these shortages. We're unique, because of our market share, in that we get priority allocation from our LCD panel partners. We wouldn't be able to be the biggest shipper in the United States if we were not.