LCD panel maker Innolux Corp (群創) lost its No. 3 ranking in the global flat-panel industry last year due to production disruptions and a failure to acquire large orders, technology researcher TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) said.
The Miaoli-based company last year shipped 41.73 million flat panels, down 19.3 percent from a year earlier, the report showed.
That brought the company’s ranking down one notch to fourth, TrendForce said.
The market researcher attributed the retreat to a lack of “major orders for its 23.6-inch panels and the earthquake in southern Taiwan in February last year.”
Innolux received a big order from the Mexican government to supply 23.6-inch LCD TV panels in 2014 and 2015.
“However, Innolux increased its share of the large-size panel market in its product mix, which helped it strengthen profitability,” TrendForce analyst Iris Hu (胡家榕) said in a report.
By square meter, Innolux’s TV panel shipments last year shrank an annual 6.3 percent, Hu said.
Innolux recorded a net profit of NT$3.06 billion (US$97.58 million) in the third quarter of last year, ending three quarters of losses as strong holiday shopping demand drove TV panel prices higher.
China’s BOE Technology Group (京東方) last year replaced Innolux as the world’s No. 3 flat-panel supplier, shipping 43.64 million units, representing a year-on-year surge of 22.4 percent, the report said.
The growth was primarily due to a capacity expansion of BOE’s 8.5G fab in Chongqing, China, which focused on producing 49-inch and 55-inch TV panels, it said.
LG Display Co and Samsung Display Co ranked first and second last year, shipping 52.94 million units and 46.8 million units respectively, the report said.
Samsung Display’s closure of its LCD fab L7-1 at the end of last year caused a decline in the South Korean firm’s shipments, the report said.
Samsung plans to allocate resources saved from shutting down the plant to manufacturing higher-resolution AMOLED panels used in smartphones, it said.
The “move not only caused a decline in TV panel shipments for Samsung Display,sh but also raised concern about the supply of 40-to-43-inch panels,” Hu said.
The supply concern prompted TV vendors to stock up on 40-to-43-inch panels last year and supply constrictions will continue this year, Hu said.
As LG Display and Samsung Display are to cut back on supply, Hu expects the supply constraint on 40-inch to 45-inch TV panels that has been in place since the second half of last year to carry into this year.
Supply pressures could worsen as Sakai Display Products Corp, controlled by Sharp Corp and Foxconn Technology Group (富士康科技集團), has stopped supplying panels from its 10G fab to Sharp’s competitors, Hu said.
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