TAIWAN: Coupled with new product quality problems and cutting-edge technology adopted in production lines that brought about capacity loss, 1Q12 LCD panel shipments of main applications categories were restrained by fewer working days and labor shortage due to Chinese Lunar New Year holidays.
According to WitsView, the panel research division of TrendForce, large-sized panel shipments in 1Q12 amounted to 1.71 million units with QoQ decline of 3.1 percent.
In terms of application categories, TV panel shipments declined by 7 percent QoQ, dragged down by slow season and disappointing sales performance in China during Chinese New Year. However, aided by the healthier year-on-year panel inventory levels, new-model launches, and inventory preparation for May 1st Labor Day in China, TV panel shipments increased by 3.1 percent YoY, accordingly.
Although overall monitor panel inventory level appeared healthy, monitor panel shipments fell by 3.9 percent QoQ and 8.2 percent YoY, respectively, resulting from most downstream brand vendors’ conservative attitudes toward future panel market outlook, causing them to pull-in inventory cautiously. 1Q12 regular laptop panel shipments declined by 1.3 percent QoQ due to offseason; however, helped by recovered HDD supply momentum and demand for new models with Ivy Bridge, regular laptop panel shipments rose by 10.3 percent YoY.
Shipments of netbook below 12.1” appeared a 15.5 percent QoQ growth with the help of downstream vendors’ inventory restocking, while the shipments dropped by 20.2 percent YoY due to tablet PCs’ taking over the market. Tablet PC shipments in 1Q12 slid by 0.9 percent QoQ due to two factors:
1) Apple’s New iPad panel were in short supply, resulting from yield rate issue raised in the transition from iPad 2 to the new iPad, and
2) non-Apple campaigns mostly launch their new models after the 2nd quarter.
However, a surging YoY increase in tablet PC panel shipments indicates that tablet PCs are continuously taking over other brands’ laptop sales in terms of prices and functions.
Meanwhile, with the sequential trends in developing high resolution panels, tablet application market has been expanded from personal entertainment to education market, and is expected to further dominate commercial tablet market with the introduction of Windows 8 in 2H12. As a result, the overall growth momentum of tablet PC is projected to persist.Source: WitsView, Taiwan.