AUSTIN, USA: The mobile phone market rebounded strongly in Q4’09, resulting in 2009 shipments of 1.46 billion units, up 4.4 percent Y/Y. According to the DisplaySearch Quarterly Mobile Phone Shipment and Forecast Report, mobile phone display shipments in Q4’09 were 409 million units—up 32 percent Y/Y. Despite this, 2009 revenues fell 4.7 percent Y/Y to $11.6 billion, as a result of falling prices.
“The year 2009 saw some important transitions for the mobile phone display market,” noted Calvin Hsieh, Research Director at DisplaySearch. “Not only did TFT LCD exceed 50 percent of the market, but Taiwanese and Chinese suppliers shipped the majority of the displays.”
Fig. 1: Mobile Phone Display Shipment and ForecastSource: DisplaySearch Quarterly Mobile Phone Shipment and Forecast Report.
Shipments of a-Si TFT LCDs (including cell shipments) for mobile phones accounted for 52.3 percent of mobile phone shipments in 2009, up from 44.6 percent in 2008, as suppliers shifted their business from CSTN and MSTN.
In 2009, a-Si TFT LCD (including cell shipments) achieved a remarkable growth rate of 22.3 percent Y/Y. AMOLED displays in mobile phones have been well received, but only a reached a 1.5 percent share in Q4’09, with difficulties reaching higher resolution for future smart phone specifications. A small number of suppliers will limit AMOLED shipment shares in 2010.
Shipments from Taiwanese and Chinese panel suppliers rose from 47 percent of 2008 to 55.7 percent in 2009. Panel suppliers who experienced strong Y/Y shipment growth include AUO (21 percent), BYD (83 percent), Giant Plus (20 percent), InnoLux (140 percent), RiTdisplay (82 percent), Shenzhen Tianma (98 percent) and Truly (44 percent).
However, the lower prices for MSTN and CSTN displays, still a large part of shipments from China, skewed revenue shares. As a result, Taiwan and China’s revenue share in 2009 was 37.6 percent, compared to 35.6 percent for Japan and 26.4 percent for Korea.
The following figure shows the top five suppliers by shipment; they have more than half the market. Samsung ranked first in mobile phone display shipments with a 19.2 percent market share, followed by Wintek (10.5 percent), Sharp (9 percent), Truly (8 percent) and AUO (7.9 percent).
Fig. 2: 2009 Mobile Phone Display Suppliers Shipment ShareSource: DisplaySearch Quarterly Mobile Phone Shipment and Forecast Report.
In its first year, Samsung Mobile Display had a 19.2 percent share of mobile phone display shipments, overtaking Wintek (10.5 percent); 68.5 percent of its shipments were a-Si TFT LCDs. Wintek increased the share of a-Si TFT LCD (including cell) shipments from 27.6 percent of total shipments in 2008 to 37.7 percent in 2009.
Meanwhile, InnoLux increased the share of a-Si TFT LCD in its shipments to 76.6 percent, while increasing its overall market share to 5.5 percent, from 2.4 percent in 2008.