Despite the lower-than-expected sales performance during May 1st Labor Day in China, the forthcoming new energy-saving subsidy program helped maintain demand for TV panel in China market to a certain extent, coupled with international-brand launches in the worldwide market, causing TV panel shipments in May-12 amounted to 19.01 million units with MoM increase of 2.4%. Due to downstream vendors’ strict inventory control, monitor panel shipments came to 14.69 million units with MoM decline of 4.7% in May-12. In addition, major PC brand vendors displayed a series of ultrabooks and touch notebooks (NB) embedded with Win8 at the recently ended Taipei Computex Show, implying their fully preparation for the demand due to back-to-school in 2H12 and projected NB replacement cycle caused by Ivy Bridge. As a result, 12.1” above regular NB shipments in May-12 reached 7.05 million units with MoM growth of 10%. Benefitted from LGD and Sharp’s continuously increasing shipments of new iPad panel, coupled with the expected shipments of Google Pad, a new tablet jointly developed by ASUS and Google, the overall tablet PC panel shipment volume therefore reached 10.18 million units with a soaring MoM increase of 32.4% in May-12. Meanwhile, total netbook panel shipments were spurred by Apple’s new Macbook Air shipments and therefore amounted to 3.46 million units with MoM growth of 7.9%.
WitsView’s research manager, Jeffy Chen, indicates that after a slight growth in the NB market in 2011, HDD supply chain recovered in 1Q12 and Ivy Bridge chip launched in 2Q12, while Apple’s new Macbook Pro with high resolution recently introduced in the market while other major PC brands are about to launch new ultrabook models 2H12 as well. Despite panel makers’ insufficient ultra slim panel shipments due to low yield rate of thinner products, since 2H12, production yield rates are expected to raise and Wintel’s new models combining Ivy Bridge, Ultrabook, and Win8 will be officially launched after the introduction of Win8 in Oct-12. As a result, inspired by the trend of products with high capacity, high resolution, and thinner look, NB panel shipments were expected to increase over quarters and achieve YoY increase of 8% in 2012.
However, as the European debt crisis triggered by Spain and Greece continues to impact the global economy, large PC brands including HP, Acer, and Dell therefore hold conservative attitude toward their business outlook in 2H12. WitsView is also cautious about Wintel’s new production introduction amid the world economic turmoil to be triumphant or not.
WitsView has revised the estimated NB (including Netbook) panel shipments in 2012 down to 231.1 million units with YoY growth down to 5.5%.