Notebook makers say LCD panel with a 16:9 ratio will become mainstream in the second half of this year. Acer will switch all of its notebooks to 16:9 and other notebook makers are going to push at least 16:9 14" and 15.6" in the third quarter of this year.
In addition to 14- and 15.6-inch panels, 17.3-inch, mainly supplied by AUO and LG, and 18.4-inch, supplied by Samsung Electronics, Chi Mei Optoelectronics (CMO) and Chunghwa Picture Tubes (CPT) are also sizes Acer plans to introduce. Meanwhile, most other notebook vendors are still evaluating which of the two larger sizes they will bid on.
Currently, Dell and Toshiba are planning 17.3-inch lines while Asustek Computer is also leaning towards this size. Since 17.3-inch panels are priced around US$15-25 less than 18.4-inch ones, notebook pricing should be able to maintain at current 17.1-inch levels at around US$1,400-1,800.
However AUO and LG are not scheduled to start mass production of the 17.3-inch panels until the first quarter of 2009 meaning vendors will need to hold off in launching new products.
Acer, Asustek, Sony and Lenovo will all launch 15.6- and 14-inch notebooks in the second half this year, while all top-ten vendors are expected to have 15.6-inch products available in the third quarter.