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"Many application markets for small and medium size TFT-LCD panels have reached the point of saturation, and growth has stagnated," says Joy Tsai, an analyst at MIC. "A few application markets that manage to keep growing are anticipated to slow down, too."
Smartphones have become the growth driver of small and medium size TFT-LCD panel shipments, thanks to the buoyant demand in China. Last year, smartphones accounted for around 40% of the small and medium size TFT-LCD panels shipped around the world.
Automotive panel market was another application market that sustained growth in 2014, owing to vendors' long-term deployment in the niche market and increasing needs from consumers for in-car mobile communication and video/audio systems.
As panel shipments for different applications ebbed and flowed, the overall shipments of small and medium size TFT-LCD panels reached around 3.1 billion units in 2014, down 0.3% year on year.