End to Chinese subsidy hits demand for panels

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Jul 17, 2013 - Page 14

Global TV and PC shipments dropped 2.5 percent last month after the cessation of a Chinese TV purchase subsidy program cut demand for TV panels, market researcher TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) said yesterday.

Shipments of TV and PC panels dropped to 65.95 million units last month from May’s 67.65 million units, according to a tally by WitsView, the LCD research team at TrendForce.

TV panel shipments shrank 7.7 percent to 18.78 million units last month from 20.35 million units in May, after China ended its TV subsidy program at the end of May, which represented a bigger decline than the contraction of about 3 percent previously forecast by WitsView.

“TV makers delayed their inventory buildup for flat panels as the industry entered a slow month last month,” WitsView analyst Jeffy Chen (陳建安) said in a report yesterday. “In addition, price declines for TV panels accelerated last month.”

“As weak demand is expected to extend into this month, global TV shipments could fall by between 2 percent and 3 percent this month from last month,” Chen said.

“However, global shipments of tablet computer panels are expected to pick up by between 20 percent and 25 percent this month, from 15.42 million units last month, supported by the forthcoming launch of Apple Inc’s new iPad and rising demand for Google Inc’s second-generation Nexus 7 tablet computer,” he said.

“This quarter, shipments of 9.7-inch screens for tablets are likely to surge 55 percent from the period from April to last month, boosted by the launch of Apple’s new iPad,” he added.

“Meanwhile, shipments of 7.9-inch tablet panels are set to grow by 15 percent quarter-on-quarter during the July to September period as Apple is likely to delay shipment of the new iPad mini until the end of this quarter, or early next quarter,” he added.

South Korea’s LG Display Inc and Samsung Electronics Co as well as Sharp Corp of Japan are expected to supply flat panels for Apple’s second-generation iPad mini, WitsView said.