According to the news portal DigiTimes there is a shortage in the supply of light guide plates throughout the industry. The plates are key component of LED backlight unit (BLU) for LCD TVs. Industry sources say that there will be no rapid improvement of the situation.
A large number of makers have underestimated the influence of the strong demand of displays using light emitting diodes, a failure which led to insufficient expansion of their production capacities. The supply situation is more dramatically than the surging demand for LED chips. First-tier LCD TV vendors such as Sony as well as LCD TV makers reportedly have sent personnel to visit light guide plate suppliers so as to secure supply of LED-backlit sets, the sources noted.
A reaction that seems to be urgently needed because the global demand for LED-BLUs will be tenfold higher than in 2009. LCD TV shipments are expected to reach 180 million in 2010, to some extent driven by the rapid growth of LED backlit models. LED-backlit LCD TV shipments are expected to exceed 35 million units this year, up from 3.6 million units in 2009, according to the market researcher DisplaySearch.