US firm reports on AUO’s favorable market position

Staff writer, with CNA

Mon, Oct 15, 2012 - Page 13

AU Optronics Corp (AUO, 友達光電), the nation’s No. 2 LCD panel maker, is well-positioned to challenge leading display suppliers for tablet computers, given its improved relationship with brand customers, a US research firm said in a report.

The worldwide shipments for tablet displays, sized between 5 and 11.6 inches, were pegged at 88.16 million units, NPD DisplaySearch said in the report released on Thursday.

South Korea’s LG Display Co and Samsung Electronics Co retained their positions as the top two suppliers, by grabbing 31 percent and 29 percent respectively of the total market share, the report said.

China-based BOE Technology Group Co (京東方) came in third and accounted for 9 percent of the market share, with Japan’s Sharp Corp and Taiwan’s Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd (中華映管) each taking a 5 percent share, the report said.

Market share of Chimei Innolux Corp (奇美電子), the nation’s biggest LCD panel maker, was estimated to be 3 percent of the total tablet display shipments, while AUO garnered a 2 percent share, it said.

DisplaySearch said it expects LG Display and Samsung to continue dominating the tablet display supply market for some time, since the two firms have been extensively involved in the tablet business of Apple Inc’s popular iPad.

However, Panasonic Corp, Sharp and AUO were also expected to continue growing and would become the main competitors of LG Display and Samsung. This was based on the companies’ ties with tablet vendors in terms of designing new products, the research firm said.

For example, AUO and LG Display were using a new business model that integrates their touch panel production with the lamination business, hoping it will help expand their business scale and revenue, the report said.

Moreover, AUO was also manufacturing displays for tablet models such as Apple’s much-anticipated iPad mini, Asustek Computer Inc’s (華碩電腦) Eee Pad Transformer and Lenovo Group Ltd’s (聯想) IdeaPad Tablet, it said.

In a research note published last month, DisplaySearch predicted that the iPad mini would lead to record worldwide shipments of 8 million units this year and 20 million units the next year.

LG Display and AUO are the two major display suppliers for the iPad mini, DisplaySearch said. The mainstream in-plane switching technology was from LG Display, while the advanced hyper-viewing angle technology was from AUO, it added.