Fri, Dec 27, 2013 - Page 14 News List

Shipments of advanced TVs to climb

SQUARE EYES:Increasing demand from China is expected to lead to a massive rise in the production of 4K2K LCD TV panels, helping local flat-panel manufacturers

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Global shipments of ultra-high-definition 4K2K LCD TVs are expected to jump to 12.7 million units next year from 1.9 million this year, because of higher demand in China and a rapid decline in price, market researcher NPD DisplaySearch forecast yesterday.

Panel makers are planning to produce nearly 27 million 4K2K TV panels next year, though TV makers have more modest expectations for end sales figures, NPD DisplaySearch director of global TV research Paul Gagnon said in a report.

Strong growth would be a boon to Taiwanese flat-panel manufacturers, who supply 4K2K TV panels to Chinese TV makers.

Taiwan’s Innolux Corp (群創光電) and AU Optronics Corp (友達光電) led their South Korean competitors Samsung Electronics Co and LG Display Co in the development of 4K2K TV panels as next-generation high-definition OLED panels and OLED TVs are still expensive.

“OLED TV technology is not expected to yield significant growth for two to three more years,” Gagnon said. “4K2K has therefore become a technological focal point in the interim.”

The report forecast China would continue leading the world in demand for 4K2K TVs next year, accounting for 78 percent of the market. This would be a slight decline from 87 percent this year, it said.

In China, the average price of 4K2K TVs is expected to fall below US$1,000 per unit next year, while the worldwide and North American averages would remain above US$1,100 and US$2,000 respectively, NPD DisplaySearch said.

Global TV shipments are expected to grow by 1 percent annually to 229 million units next year, of which 220 million would be slim-screen TVs, the researcher forecast.

Analysts have forecast that Innolux’s shipments of 4K2K panels will reach 12 million units this year, with its major clients mostly located in China, while AUO will ship 5 million units next year to clients such as Sony, Samsung and some Chinese TV brands.

However, they have warned investors to stay alert as 4K2K panels account for only a small fraction of Innolux and AUO’s total sales.

Moreover, the increased production by Chinese manufacturers has started to impact on Innolux and AUO’s total shipments, they added.

A recent report by WitsVeiw said that with major Chinese makers such as BOE Technology Group Co (京東方) gearing up to expand their capacity, eight new 8.5-generation LCD plants will become operational in China in 2015, which will help them grasp a higher global market share and challenge their Taiwanese rivals.

Innolux shares rose 0.9 percent to finish at NT$11.15 yesterday, while shares in AUO increased 0.32 percent to NT$9.32. They both outperformed the TAIEX, which edged up 0.21 percent.

Additional reporting by CNA

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