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Asus's second LCD TV launch carefully timed

Demand is 'gaining momentum'

Asus plans to launch its second LCD TV next week, extending the growing visibility of its brand name in the digital home segment.

The product comes as demand for LCD TVs gains momentum, according to market researcher iSuppli.

The Taiwanese technology company, already the world's largest maker of computer motherboards and a contract manufacturer of gadgets, including notebook computers and game consoles, will introduce a 42in LCD TV next week, the TLW42001, to complement the 32in one, the TLW32001 already on the market in Taiwan.

Information on prices was not immediately available.

Asus's timing couldn't be better. Shipments of large LCD TV panels are expected to take off in the third quarter amid growing demand, according to iSuppli, followed by even stronger sales in the pivotal final three months of the year. LCD panels are the main component in LCD TVs, and panel demand gives analysts an idea of expectations for LCD TV demand.

Demand for large LCD TV panels is expected to show growth of 9 percent from Q2 to Q3, iSuppli said, and another 11 percent from Q3 to Q4. Q4 is normally the strongest quarter of the year for many IT goods, as a result of sales ahead of the Christmas holiday season.

The strong growth is expected to come after a weak Q2, normally the slowest time of year for IT sales, when LCD TV panel shipments grew by only 2.7 percent. iSuppli said it expects a tight supply to lead to higher prices.

Asus has started selling a number of new products in recent years under its own brand name, part of a strategy by Taiwanese companies to expand their brand awareness and break away from relying exclusively on contract manufacturing.

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