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Large-Size Panel Shipments to Surge in September

By TrendForce
Published: Sep 29,2014

Large-size panel shipments benefiting from peak-season incentives reached 72.01 million in August, increasing on month 5.6% compared to 2.7% a year ago, according to WitsView, a subsidiary of the Taiwan-based market intelligence firm TrendForce.

WitsView expects large-size panel shipments will benefit in September from tablet and notebook demand, pushing up overall shipments to a high for this year and growing on a monthly rate by 3% to 5%. However, downstream clients’ LCD TV and monitor panel inventory has reached saturation, causing shipments to slide and enter the slack season earlier than expected.

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In August, TV panel demand was robust as shipments expanded on a monthly basis by 4.5% to 21.8 million. Innolux, BOE and CSOT performed especially well, posting double-digit monthly growth of 59%, 39.8% and 13.3%, respectively.

Innolux’s 23.6" TV shipments surged 54% on month on the back of subsidies the Mexican government provided for the purchase of small-size panel TVs. Meanwhile, strong demand for the 39.5” helped monthly shipments to reach 1 million for the first time, accounting for the largest proportion of Innolux TV panel shipments.

Additionally, in August, Innolux’s TV panel shipments exceeded 500 million for the first time, top among LCD panel vendors worldwide, while BOE's 32” shipments reached 1 million for the month of August. CSOT also posted strong results, buoyed by demand for its 48,” 49” and 55” models from Mexico’s bidding projects.

Demand for monitor panels was resilient in August. Overall shipments reached 13.34 million, a monthly increase of 4.8%. Among vendors, BOE and CEC-Panda performed especially well, as each firm saw monthly double-digit growth rate, in BOE’s case 21.5% and CEC-Panda’s 33.3%. Shipments of BOE’s new 23.8” model hit 100,000. Prospects for that panel size are bright for BOE, AUO and LG Display.

Manufacturers had to prepare their inventory for the third quarter early this year because Microsoft is offering subsidies for two low-priced notebooks and vendors are bullish about the Chromebook.

In August, notebook panel shipments totaled 1.672 million units, a monthly increase of 8.9%. Growth in notebook panel shipments between January and August this year increased 2.9% over the same period last year.

That shows demand for notebooks is gradually rising. Shipment growth for BOE, AUO, Samsung and Sharp reached double digits in August. BOE and Samsung posted the top monthly month growth rates of 28% and 27%, respectively.

The 15.6” model posted the strongest shipment growth among notebooks produced by those two vendors. BOE’s grew 6 times over the previous month while Samsung’s rose 48.1%.

In August, tablet shipments reached a record high of 2.014 million, up 4.5% on month, but only 0.13% on year.

“The tablet market is plateauing,” said Winnie Chen, assistant research manager at WitsView.

“Tablets are facing a double onslaught from smartphones and low-cost notebooks.”

Vendors’ focus on products besides tablets illustrates that trend, Chen said, adding that Apple is focused on its new iPhone 6 and will not release any new iPads this year, only models with some upgrades.

While LG’s 7.9” tablet shipments surged 6 times over the previous month in August, the overall tablet market is fast cooling. Total tablet shipments in August decreased 35% on year. Samsung’s tablet shipments plunged 58.7% on an annual basis.

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