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NEC's Focus on the Future

Nov 26, 2008 10:57 AM, By Jessaca Gutierrez


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NEC Sales of large-format LCDs

Fitting with NEC's focus on LCD, sales have increased on its LCDs while plasma sales have decreased. Click here to see a larger chart.

As we come to the end of year, evaluating the past year’s growth and the looming year’s projected financial success is weighing hard on minds. With almost every industry feeling the pinch, looking toward the future and how to turn business around and find new profit avenues in an economic downturn will be key—even for manufacturers. SVC recently sat down with Chris Connery, vice president of PC and large-format commercial displays at DisplaySearch to discuss NEC’s success in the AV marketplace and it’s expected growth in the future.

How has NEC changed with today’s AV marketplace?
It has been slowly edging away from plasma technology, dating back to the sale of its PDP panel factory to Pioneer back in 2004 when NEC had two, essentially competing companies, both focused on commercial, large-format FPD products: [These were] a) NEC Display Solutions, which focused on LCD-based large-format commercial displays; [and] b) NEC Visual Systems, which focused on plasma and projection technology. (This is the division which sold off its PDP panel production to Pioneer.)

NEC's LCD Marketshart

Although numbers are widely dispersed thoughout the LCD manufacturing industry, NEC has maintained a lead in Q2 '08. Click here to see a larger chart.

Corporate and education are a growing AV market, especially where displays and projectors are concerned. How does NEC fit in, and how is the company meeting the needs of this marketplace?
In 2007, NEC Display Solutions and NEC Visual Systems remerged so that LCD, plasma, and front projection were now managed under one roof. While NEC had sold off its core production plant for PDP, it continued to source plasma components from Pioneer and others to fill-in-the-gaps which were not cost effectively filled by their large-format LCD offering.

What is important when considering this marketplace versus the residential AV or even the educational marketplace?
As LCD production matured, the combined NEC has now opted to focus uniquely on LCD-based large-format commercial displays as can be seen in [Figure 1, 2, and 3]their recent mix of WW sales.

What are NEC’s goals/plans for meeting the needs of this market? Plasma is still a viable technology for some vendors (especially in sizes above 50in. in diagonal), but is now typically associated with vendors—which are tied to the core-production of PDP panels themselves such as Panasonic, Samsung, and LGE.

2008 DisplaySearch Statistics

Figure 3: In 2008, DisplaySearch showed that plasma is still a viable technology for some vendors (especially in sizes above 50in. in diagonal), but is now typically associated with vendors which are tied to the core-production of PDP panels themselves such as Panasonic, Samsung and LGE. Click here for a larger version of this chart.

As a very long-time player in the pro-AV market—be it for projection, plasma, or for large-format LCD—NEC has definitely looked to position itself beyond just one specific technology into more of a solution provider with its latest announcement further noting the fact that this organization is somewhat technology-agnostic and is more focused than ever on the “solution” as opposed to one specific technology over another with the belief that there is more to pro-AV installations than just the display itself.



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