According to the latest shipment report provided by WisView, the display research division of TrendForce, the large-sized panel shipments amounted to 69.07 million units in Aug. 2012, increasing 9.8% MoM and 15% YoY.
For TV panels, following China’s implement of the subsidy policy for energy-saving products and the announcement of first list of favored TV brands in June, more brands and models are added to the second list in mid-Aug. In addition, with the impending promotional period of Oct 1st and mid-autumn holiday, downstream brand vendors aggressively boosted purchases and lifted panel shipments to 20.65 million units, increasing by 12% MoM.
Affected by larger inventory restocking from downstream brand vendors, monitor panel shipments amounted to 15.33 million units, growing 13% MoM. In regard to regular NB panels, after a wave of inventory adjustments in July, the Win8 pre-launch demand in August lifted above 12.1” shipments to 18.47 million units, increasing 11.7% MoM.
For tablet panels, Apple’s inventory and product strategy adjustments have led to recent demand downtrend of new iPad panels. In addition, iPad mini panel shipment will likely be delayed to September due to quality concerns; overall shipment in August fell short of expectations. With Kindle fire 2, Nexus7 and Surface shipments heating up, tablet panel shipments increased 8.3% MoM to 12.33 million units. Netbook panel shipments declined continuously to 2.28 million units, dropping 23.3% MoM.
Looking to large-sized panel shipment in September, WitsView indicated that although the base period was raised, overall shipments would see the uptrend with a reduced growth of 0-1% as downstream brands controlled inventory in response to quarterly financial statement adjustments. Only tablet panel would show two-digit growth while the remaining applications see much reduced growth.
Based on WitsView’s observations, developments in large-sized LCD TVs and monitors have boosted total shipment area. As for TV panel shipment area, it increased 12% MoM in Aug and amounted to 8.7 million meter square, showing a significant YoY growth of 33%.
As indicated by Jeffy Chen, research manager of WitsView, as large-sized panels are cheaper than the past, along with Chinese brands responding to the energy saving product program, products developments have been accelerated toward large size and high efficiency. It is estimated to be the main reason why the average LCD TV size has climbed largely in 2012.
Chen further indicated that 2940 models are included in the 2 lists of the favored brands combined with 1399 models in the first list and 1541 in the second. Among which, 32” remained the mainstream product, accounting for 21% of the favored models, 42” came as 2nd with 19%, while 46” and 55” controlled 9% and 8% respectively.
39” and 50” occupied 9% and 5%, which are mainly supplied by CMI and AUO. In total, products above 40” reached 53% of the favored models. It suggests that in order to gain higher subsidy and increase profits, Chinese brands place emphasis on developing high efficiency design of large-sized products. Lower large-sized panel prices compared to the past have also contributed to the trend.
Policy support has accelerated the panel size growing speed. From 2009 to 2011, the average TV panel sizes were 33.6”, 33.7”and 34.5” respectively with an annual increase of less than 1 inch. As projects by WitsView, the average TV panel size in 2012 would reach 36.5”with a 2-inch increase compared to 2011. As panel sizes grow upward, it significantly helps digest the ample global LCD panel production capacity.
Chart 1: TFT-LCD Panel Shipment in Aug-12 (K units)