Well ok... I didn't believe LCD prices were going up, or if they were up it was just some short term profiting (which it may well still be even after the following is interpreted...) I offer the following from http://digitimes.com/NewsShow/Article.asp?IR=N&ClassID=202&datePublish=2002/03/15&pages=01&seq=1
I paste it in after this mostly as it appears digitimes starts to require a fee for accessing older articles but not newer ones thus at some point the above link will prompt you to login (which requires a $200 annual fee). Here's the article... at least it helps to explain (to me) a bit about what the heck is going on with LCD prices....
David Tzeng, Taipei; Willie Teng, DigiTimes.com [Monday 18 March 2002]
With demand for large-size panels on the rise, panel manufacturers are increasing prices to make up for previous losses – even though supply remains adequate. Both the notebook and LCD monitor markets are expected to rely on low-price products to further growth this year, but rising panel prices have limited their pricing range and lowered their willingness to procure. Moreover, panel manufacturers are currently expanding capacity despite the second quarter being the traditional low season of the year, possibly leading to another round of oversupply and a severe price drop.
Prices of 15-inch LCD monitor panels rose from US$180-190 in the third quarter of 2001 to the current US$250-260. In the same period, prices of 15-inch notebook panels increased from US$190-200 to US$260-270, while 14-inch notebook panels jumped from US$160-170 to US$230-235.
Notebook manufacturers Quanta Computer and Compal Electronics pointed out that current panel supply, though tighter than it was in mid-2001, is still sufficient. Excessive supply will likely occur if panel prices continue on an upward trend and demand cools off, as expected, in April and May, they added.
Spurred by the panel shortage at the end of 2001, many notebook and LCD monitor manufacturers at the time increased panel orders for the first quarter of 2002. However, demand for 15-inch LCD monitors has weakened this quarter with high panel prices driving up end-product prices.
LCD monitor prices have increased from US$299-349 in the third and fourth quarters of 2001 to US$429 in March. The fourth quarter of 2001 enjoyed quarterly shipment growth of 50%, but shipments in the current quarter are expected to increase only marginally, by about 10%.
International PC giants are currently competing by unveiling notebooks under US$1,000, demonstrating that low-price models will be the key to further growth this year. Currently, PC companies are willing to absorb the increased cost and continue with their low-price strategies to ensure stable shipments and secure market share. The companies could, however, reduce shipments of low-price notebooks if panel inflation shows no sign of halting, which would greatly impact panel shipments.
Price inflation first started in the fourth quarter of 2001 when LCD monitor prices became more acceptable to consumers and the notebook market continued its steady growth. However, due to losses suffered in the past, panel makers were unwilling to increase material inventory at the time, causing a supply shortage and therefore increased prices. Also, panel makers have gradually raised prices to test market acceptance.
Prices of 15-inch panels were originally not expected to reach US$250 until the fourth quarter this year. Many panel makers have said that 15-inch panel prices will increase by another US$5-10 in April. Of added concern, Hitachi and Samsung Electronics have both said that prices of 14.1-inch notebook panels would rocket to US$245.