Electronics makers worldwide face a shortage of liquid crystal displays used for large-screen televisions due to soaring demand, particularly in emerging markets such as China, Sharp said Monday.
Rising demand for three-dimensional televisions and light-emitting diode (LED) televisions is adding pressure on an already strained supply chain as makers look towards using higher-performance panels, the company said.
The Japanese maker said it will double the number of retail outlets in China for its popular Aquos television brand to 10,000 by December and boost its lineup to more than 30 models from the current 24.
Supply for large-screen displays is "tight" due to demand from the rising ranks of the more affluent customers in China and other emerging markets which is "growing beyond our expectations", president Mikio Katayama told reporters.
Demand for LCD screens in computer production is also squeezing supply for TV makers, he said.
Last week the maker said it expects to sell 15 million LCD televisions worldwide for the current fiscal year, up from 10 million units the previous year.
The company, which pioneered the technology behind LCDs, will double its production capacity faster than expected at its newest Japanese factory in Sakai city, considered the world's most advanced display plant.
Sharp also supplies some panels to Japan's Sony and Toshiba.
Demand for light emitting diodes, which are used as backlights in recently launched LCD models, is also increasing at a faster-than-expected pace, the company said.
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