Friday, October 14, 2011

Tablet demand ignited by Kindle Fire, driving September panel shipment growth

TAIWAN: According to a September survey on large-size panel shipment conducted by WitsView, a research division of TrendForce, the large-size panel shipment in September 2011 grew by 2.7 percent from August to a total of 60.8 million units, with a YoY growth of 14 percent.

With hot sales seasons in Europe and US approaching, the Kindle Fire component supply chains, supporting the product known as the strongest opponent of Apple iPad and potentially the most popular gift idea in North America in 2011, have been busy preparing for shipment since August and September.Source: WitsView.

WitsView research manager, Jian-An Chen, indicates that related panel suppliers such as CPT and Korean maker LG Display have both benefitted from this “fire” with superb performances of tablet panel shipments in September. Breaking free from the dominating 9.7” Apple iPad, various companies outside of Amazon such as the world’s second largest e-book provider Barnes & Noble, HTC, and ASUS have been introducing their own tablet products with 7” LCD panels. This wave of production has effectively pushed the shipment of 7” tablet PC panel in September to 1.82 million units with MoM growth of 195 percent.

In terms of the five major applications in September, total TV panel shipment reached 17.31 million units with MoM growth of 3.1 percent. Monitor panel shipment totalled 15.91 million units with MoM regression of 1.3 percent. NB panel shipment also reached 15.49 million units with MoM regression of 5.8 percent.

The overall tablet PC panel shipment reached 9.57 million units with significant MoM growth of 35.5 percent. The netbook panel shipment concluded at 2.51 million units with MoM regression of 10.2 percent.

Despite positive results from National Day Holidays sales promotion in Mainland China, which were on par with industry forecasts, and small scale re-stocking activities among Chinese TV makers in preparation for Chinese New year, these procurements have not been sufficient to compensate the impact on shipments among panel makers resulted from gloomy global economy and weak demand in European and US markets.

The promotions among all major electronics retailers this year were focused on tablet PC products instead of the LCD TV and smart phones as was the convention in the past. Even though the demand for Tablet PC this year has been strong compared with other application products, panel makers cannot rely on a sole product to survive the most difficult time in the history of LCD industry. After all, the demands for LCD TV, monitor and NB panels are still the critical factors for consuming the enormous global panel production capacity.

WitsView predicts that a small scale regression of large-size panel shipment in October, compared to September. October is conventionally the peak shipment month for the second half of the year, however, the panel price is still suffering a downward trend. With the panel demand remaining sluggish. WitsView indicates that the best way to respond is to adjust the product on the supply side: for panel prices in coming quarters to have any positive progress, it is going to depend on all panel makers’ ability to manage and control their production utilization rates.

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