As more PC and smartphone makers join the bandwagon to offer tablets that compete with Apple Inc’s iPads, the global display industry is set to face disruptions this year with both shortages and excess inventories at the same time, a researcher said.
Display makers’ attempts to satisfy booming demand from their various tablet customers was expected to cause the odd -phenomenon, US-based IHS iSuppli said.
“As iPad competitors turn their focus to tablets, the demand for netbook and notebook displays will soften,” Joe Abelson, vice president of displays at iSuppli, said in the report issued last week.
Amid unpredictable tablet sales, display suppliers will be forced to gamble production capacity on the unrealistically high projections of tablet customers, he said.
ISuppli forecast the tablet market to reach 57.6 million this year, up from 17.1 million last year. IPads would enjoy the lion’s share with a 70.4 percent market share, while others, including Hewlett-Packard Co, Research in Motion Ltd, Asustek Computer Inc (華碩) and Acer Inc (宏碁), will compete for the remainder.
With different panel sizes and specifications, the industry should expect to see both significant inventory shortages and excesses to occur throughout the year, potentially accompanied by heavy -discounting or scrapping of unused displays, iSuppli said.
Such disruption should not come as a surprise given the revolutionary impact of the iPad on the global technology market.
“Not since the dawn of television in the 1950s has another electronic device so effortlessly captured the hearts, minds and discretionary spending of so many consumers,” the report added.
While the tablet face-off would dominate much attention, other iSuppli forecasts said this year would see a breakthrough in the manufacturing of active--matrix organic light emitting diode -(AMOLED) displays.
Massive investments in new materials, processes and production capacity will enable a handful of suppliers, including Samsung Electronics Co and LG Electronics Inc, to drive AMOLED penetration deeper into mobile devices.
This may also be the year when premium AMOLED TVs move beyond trade shows and onto retail shelves, it added.
Another notable trend will be the emergence of 3D displays.
“Despite 3D hype last year, it couldn’t overcome the fact that first-generation 3D TVs were unpleasant to watch — assuming viewers could find any 3D content to watch [in the first place],” the report said.
3D capability will soon be added to the checklist for many high-end models, as TV brands have made it their mission to proliferate this technology to more consumers, even at the cost of quality of presentation.
While this may lead to some near-term successes, long-term brand image is at stake, especially if early adopters learn in a year or two that their investments are obsolete because no greatly improved content or technologies have been released, such as glasses-free 3D, the report said.
NO VIRUS BLUES: A SEMI Taiwan official said that the virus does not slow down the global semiconductor industry’s investment in manufacturing equipment The production value of the nation’s semiconductor industry is expected to grow 16.7 percent this year from last year, outpacing the global industry’s 3.3 percent growth, industry association SEMI said yesterday. That would help Taiwan safeguard its second spot in the global semiconductor market with a production value of more than NT$3 trillion (US$102.73 billion), SEMI Taiwan president Terry Tsao (曹世綸) told a media briefing in Taipei for the Semicon Taiwan trade show beginning today. The global semiconductor industry’s production value is expected to increase to US$426 billion this year, SEMI said. In terms of semiconductor equipment investment, equipment billings from Taiwanese firms
Intel Corp has received licenses from US authorities to continue supplying certain products to Huawei Technologies Co (華為), a company spokesman said yesterday. Washington has been pushing governments around to world to squeeze out Huawei, saying that the telecom giant would hand data to Beijing for espionage. From Monday last week, new curbs have barred US companies from supplying or servicing Huawei. This week, the state-backed China Securities Journal reported that Intel had received permission to supply Huawei. China’s Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC, 中芯國際), which uses US-origin equipment to make chips for Huawei and other companies, last week confirmed that it had sought
Swancor Renewable Energy Co (上緯新能源) yesterday announced plans for a 4.4 gigawatt (GW) offshore wind project off Miaoli County as part of its commitment toward Taiwan’s energy transformation, the company said in a statement. The “Formosa 4” project includes three deep-water wind farms 18km to 20km off the coast, Swancor Renewable CEO Lucas Lin (林雍堯) said, adding that planning for the project began last year. A proposal for Formosa 4 was this week submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the company said. Swancor Renewable jointly developed the Formosa 1 project, a 128 megawatt (MW) wind farm about 4km off Miaoli and the
INVEST IN TAIWAN: A metal components casting firm and the world’s largest maker of aluminum bicycle rims also obtained approvals to join the program Solar Applied Materials Technology Co (SOLAR, 光洋應用材料), a part of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) “green supply chain,” has pledged to invest NT$1 billion (US$34.1 million) to build a new plant at the Tainan Technology Industrial Park (台南科技工業區), the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday. SOLAR has been collaborating with TSMC to extract precious metals from waste and reuse them as “sputtering target” material in high-end semiconductor manufacturing, a TSMC press release issued in May said. Established in 1978, SOLAR also offers key materials and integrated services to customers in the optoelectronics, information and communications technology, petrochemicals and consumer electronics industries,