Innolux Corp (群創) last year safeguarded its ranking as the world’s third-largest LCD TV panel supplier after a fall in panel prices helped stimulate demand and digest excessive inventory in the second half of the year, market researcher TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) said yesterday.
Improving demand helped offset stagnation in shipment growth as Innolux struggled to improve the yield rate for its new 8.6G production line in the first half of last year, the Taipei-based research company said in a report.
Innolux’s TV clients were cautious about placing orders after the panel manufacturer last year restarted its TV set assembly business to minimize operational volatility, the report said.
Miaoli County-based Innolux shipped 41.8 million flat panels used in TVs, inching up 0.2 percent from 41.73 million units shipped in 2016, TrendForce data showed.
LG Display Co defended its top position with shipments totaling 50.85 million units, down 3.9 percent annually, the report showed, while China’s BOE Technology Group (京東方) saw its ranking rise one notch to second for the first time, overtaking Samsung Electronics Co.
BOE shipped 43.81 million TV panels, up 0.4 percent from 2016, surpassing Samsung’s 39.6 million units, the statistics showed.
The South Korean panel maker’s ranking slid to fourth, the data showed, as shipments plunged 15.4 percent from 2016 after it shut down its less-advanced L7-1 plant.
However, Samsung widened its technology lead by grabbing a 36.3 percent share of the 65-inch TV panel market, TrendForce said.
Samsung was a leader in the ultra-high-definition (UHD) TV panel segment as reflected in its 54.6 percent penetration rate, the researcher said.
AU Optronics Corp (友達光電) remained in fifth place after shipping 27.21 million TV panels, down 0.1 percent annually, it added.
Global TV panel makers last year saw shipments rise 1.3 percent to 263.83 million units, compared with 260.41 million units in 2016, TrendForce data showed.
This year, global TV panel shipments are expected to grow 2.2 percent year-on-year to 269.49 million units, which would be the second-highest level ever, TrendForce analyst Iris Hu (胡家榕) said.
To boost revenue and profit, global panel makers are expected to boost their UHD TV panel penetration to 42 percent this year, up 7.4 percentage points from last year, she said.
The average TV panel size is forecast to increase only 1.3 inches to about 45.8 inches, as consumers in emerging markets replace their cathode ray tube TVs with smaller 32-inch and 23.6-inch LCD TVs, she added.
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