The Taiwan small- to medium-size TFT LCD industry has risen to become the world's largest in terms of LCD cell shipment numbers, while its production value still occupies an important position in the global industry, comparable to that of Japan. Across the strait in China, the nascent small- to medium size TFT LCD panel industry may still be in its development stage, but the country's vast market and strong growth mean the local industry has more potential than that that of any other nation. China-based manufacturers BOE and Tianma have also recently markedly expanded capacity for their respective production of small- to medium size TFT LCD panels and China's competitiveness in the global market is expected to increase dramatically over the next three years.
While players in Greater China market focus on capacity and production for TFT LCD panels, South Korea's Samsung Mobile Display has actively pursued both R&D and manufacturing processes for AMOLED, with this new display technology already posing a significant threat to the high-end small- to medium size TFT LCD sector. Japan's Sharp also plans to switch its 8.5G TFT LCD factory to the production of small- to medium size panels, while Sony Mobile Display, Toshiba Mobile Display and Hitachi Displays are not only set to merge, but are also setting their sights on AMOLED technology and applications. These firms are therefore also likely to present a major threat to small- to medium size TFT LCD manufacturers in the Greater China region. How manufacturers in the Greater China region respond to future competition from Japan and Korea, as well how they go about closing the gap between themselves and Japanese and Korean manufacturers, are topics worthy of careful investigation.