Mon, May 26, 2014 - Page 14 News List

Increasing sales channels to invigorate tablet panel shipments: market research

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter

Shipments of tablet panels are projected to exceed shipments of those used in notebook computers, desktop monitors and TVs this month as major Taiwanese and Chinese brands continue increasing their sales channels for new products, a market researcher said.

Tablet panel shipments are estimated to grow by between 15 and 20 percent to between 18.52 million and 19.33 million units from last month, when shipments increased 2.8 percent to 16.11 million units, TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) said in a report released on Monday last week.

In contrast, shipments of TV panels are estimated to remain flat at 20.51 million units this month, while panels used in monitors and notebooks are predicted to increase by 1 to 2 percent from last month, the researcher said.

“In the third quarter of the year, tablet and smartphone panels are projected to reach a shipment peak, and the information-technology panel price is likely to continue to increase,” TrendForce analyst Jeffy Chen (陳建安) said in the report.

“However, after mid-third quarter, information-technology brands’ inventory adjustment scale will determine the ensuing trend for information-technology panel prices,” he added.

TrendForce attributed the growth in tablet panel shipments this month to expansion of sales channels by Chinese brands, including Lenovo Group Ltd (聯想) and Xiaomi Corp (小米), as well as their Taiwanese peers, such as Acer Inc (宏碁) and Asustek Computer Inc (華碩).

Chen said panel makers’ capacities that are used to make information-technology panels are constrained this quarter because of rising demand for panels for LCD TVs, tablets and smartphones.

There will be a shortage of notebook panels if manufacturers continue shifting their resources to production of tablet or smartphone panels, he added.

Microsoft Corp’s subsidies for low-priced notebook vendors has driven demand for notebook panels during the first half of the year from the same period last year, Chen said, adding that tight supply of 14 inch to 21.5 inch panels has also prompted price hikes.

According to TrendForce, notebook panel shipments fell 3.2 percent month-on-month to 15.37 million units last month, while shipments of displays declined 5.1 percent sequentially to 13.28 million units.

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