Flat screen prices in Taiwan are down this month as the global flat panel sector enters a traditionally slow season in the first quarter of the year, a research report said on Saturday.
Prices for the first half of the month in all three major flat panel categories — TV screens, notebook computer panels and desktop computer displays — are declining, ending the rising streak seen over the past few months, the report said.
The report by DisplaySearch, a global display market advisory firm, said growth in panel prices showed signs of slowing in the second half of last month and is continuing into the first half of this month — usually a slow season for the sector.
In particular, demand for 32-inch screens, is declining, running counter to the trend in the last quarter of last year, the report said.
DisplaySearch reported an average price of US$128 for 32-inch TV panels for the first half of this month, down US$2 from the second half of last month.
For 32-inch screens without backlight modules, the average price is US$105, it said, adding that this was also a drop of US$2.
The average asking price for 39-inch light-emitting diode (LED) backlight TV panels remains little changed at US$225, while 40 to 46 inch backlit LED TV displays are showing a drop of about US$1 to between US$288 and US$360, DisplaySearch said.
In the desktop computer sector, the average asking price of 17-inch, 19-inch and 20-inch screens also remained unchanged in the first half of this month, while prices of 18.5-inch and 21.5-inch models have dropped US$0.50, DisplaySearch said.
For LED backlight screens for notebook computer use, average asking prices for 13.3-inch to 17.3-inch screens for the first half of this month showed a US$0.50 decrease from the second half of last month, it said aid.
Meanwhile, David Hsieh, DisplaySearch’s vice president for the greater China market, said he expects that Innolux Corp (群創) and AU Optronics Corp (AUO, 友達光電), two major local flat panel makers, will this year break the global tablet computer supply dominance of their South Korean counterparts.
With Innolux and AUO gearing for an upgrade of production technology for 7 to 9 inch screens, they have a better chance of securing orders from Apple Inc, which is expected to launch its next version of the iPad Mini in the fourth quarter of this year, he said.
In addition to Apple, Hsieh said, Amazon.com Inc, which has devoted great efforts to developing its own tablet computers, has become another important potential buyer of Innolux’s and AUO’s products.