According to TrendForce’s latest panel price analysis, due to the low inventory level of panel manufacturers and the strategy of maintaining production regulation, the overall supply and demand of TV panels have reached balance. With the strengthening of the stocking momentum for TV panels in China, the price increase trend of TV panels in April can still continue, but the price difference between first-tier and second-tier brand customers is relatively large.
Second-tier brand customers mostly can only accept the price increase of the panel manufacturers, while first-tier brand customers still have a certain degree of bargaining space. Looking at the TV panel prices in April, all sizes have maintained an upward trend, with 32 inches expected to increase by 1USD, 43 inches by 3USD, 50 inches by 6 USD, 55 inches by 7~8 USD, 65 inches by 13USD, and 75 inches by 10~11 USD. With this price increase trend, TV panel prices may have a chance to return to the cash cost level in May.
After the monitor panel prices stabilized in March, there are currently signs of strengthening demand for some consumer models, including high-end gaming monitors and some entry-level affordable ones. This is partly due to downstream customers replenishing inventory demand, and also preparing for the upcoming 618 promotion in China. Therefore, it is expected that the full-size monitor panel prices in April will remain stable.
Turning to notebook panel, Chromebook demand has rebounded in Q2, but other mainstream models are still affected by brand customers’ inventory destocking, leading to no clear increase yet. Therefore, notebook panel prices in April are expected to remain stable, with potential for increase depending on the timing of inventory destocking and demand momentum.
As we look at the global economic growth rates for 2022, one country’s GDP performance stands out: Vietnam. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Vietnam’s estimated GDP growth rate for 2022 is 7%, compared to 2.6% in 2021, making it the most fast-growing country among the neighbouring countries.
Undoubtedly, the country’s impressive performance is largely due to the global supply chain’s migration to the country, driven by the COVID-19 pandemic and the trade war between the US and China.
Pandemic and Trade War as Catalysts for Supply Chain Relocation
Long before the supply chain’s recent move, Samsung had already made aggressive investments by allocating 60% of Samsung Galaxy phones’ production in Vietnam. As a result of that, Vietnam’s electronics manufacturing exports surpassed its largest industry, textiles, a decade ago.
Over the last couple of years, the increasing tension between U.S. and China’s lockdown during the pandemic has made the leading brands aware of the high geopolitical risks as well as the importance of supply chain diversification. These concerns forced them to vigorously re-evaluate the plan to move their manufacturing factories to Vietnam, mitigating the risks they are exposed to.
Laptops: The Last Piece of Puzzle
In this migration, Apple and Dell have been the most proactive brands. After Shanghai’s lockdown, Apple has chosen Vietnam as its second-largest production base for laptops, tablets, and TWS earphones. Luxshare has already attracted attentions for building an AirPod production line in Vietnam, but not until recently, the laptop OEMs in Taiwan have geared up for expanding their investments there: a couple days ago Quanta Computer just announced a $50 million investment to establish a Vietnamese subsidiary to produce MacBooks; Foxconn, another key supplier of Apple’s macbook, is reported to begin their trial run for macbook after an $9 billion investment in 2022 for capacity increase.
On the other hand, it is said that Dell had actively reviewed its suppliers and component sources before 2022 to ensure the stable supply for their bidding market in the North American. As Dell becomes more aggressive in shifting their production lines from China to other locations, suppliers such as Compal and Wistron have also been actively building laptop assembly lines in Vietnam for the past two years.
A flexible production model is on the horizon
In the past, most OEMs considered Vietnam as a backup due to the complex logistic management potentially caused by the relocation of production lines. However, given that the most complicated and rigid laptop supply chains have begun to move, it is generally believed that this represents a solid trend where Vietnam is almost set to take over China’s position.
According to TrendForce, Vietnam is projected to account for 5% of global laptop shipments by 2023, which marks a notable increase from less than 1% just a year ago, making the country the second-largest laptop production base after China.
However, from the perspective of supply chain risk diversification, brand customers demand production models that not only reduce over-concentration in China but also enable quick response to possible contingencies at each production base.
That means even if laptop production is concentrated in China and Vietnam, if there is an urgent situation, OEM factories’ production lines in other regions must be able to provide immediate support. Such production models will inevitably reshape the supply chain landscape moving forward.
(Photo credit: Freepik)
According to TrendForce’s latest research, global NB shipments are forecasted to drop by 5.8% YoY to around 177 million units. However, the downtrend in NB shipments is starting to moderate, and the projected figure for 2023 is expected to represent the lowest point before 2025. Currently, inventory corrections for components and whole devices are taking place in the global supply chain for NBs. Prices are also being cut substantially across sales channels, and PC OEMs have scaled back component procurements. There is a chance that the NB market will return to its usual cyclical pattern and show growth during 2H23, when back-to-school and holiday-related promotions are expected to boost device sales.
However, this scenario will depend on two factors. First, PC OEMs will have been able to effectively get rid of the existing stock of NBs belonging to the older generations during 1H23. Second, global inflation will ease as 2023 progresses. Currently, the IMF forecasts that the rate of global inflation will slide down to 6.5% in 2023, compared with 8.8% in 2023. Such development will help raise the consumer spending related to electronics. All in all, notable inventory corrections and the reduction of inflationary pressure will allow the NB market to leave the gloomy situation of 2022 and get back to upbeat state of quarter-to-quarter shipment growth.
Market Segments for Commercial and Consumer NBs Will Both See Decline in 2023, Chromebooks, Gaming NBs, and Creator NBs Will Become Main Demand Drivers
Looking at the various segments of the NB market, unit shipments and market share are expected to drop for both commercial NBs and consumer NBs. Conversely, Chromebooks will grow in terms of shipments and market share despite various headwinds. In 1H23, mature regional markets such as the US and emerging regional markets such as Indonesia and India will be releasing tenders for Chromebook for educational uses. Turning to gaming NBs, their global shipments are forecasted to increase by 8.3% YoY to 17.45 million units for 2023 thanks to the seasonal demand surge in 2H23. As for creator NBs, the market for them is growing because professional content creators want to purchase a “mobile workstation” in place of a high-end gaming NB for tasks such as building 3D models and processing large amounts of multimedia files. Global shipments of creator NBs are forecasted to rise by 24.9% YoY to around 437,000 units for 2023.
(Note: “NB” stands for notebook or laptop computer.)
Shipments in the global Chromebook product market are expected to return to pre-pandemic levels in 2023. Mature markets such as the United States and emerging markets such as India and Indonesia will play a key role, primarily due to a small number of education tenders to promote shipments, and this rebound can be expected to continue based on future demand in mature and emerging markets. Global shipments of Chromebook products are estimated to reach 15.9 million units in 2023, an annual increase of approximately 8.2%.
In terms of regional markets, apart from Japan and Europe, the United States is the largest market for Chromebook products, accounting for 90% of the world’s demand for Chromebooks. Supported by a bailout bill proposed by the U.S. government and the developmental policy of the U.S. education market, lower-priced distance learning tools such as educational laptops, entry-level laptops, and tablet computers are gradually forming a bastion of Inelastic Demand.
Emerging markets such as India and Indonesia may become new blue oceans for Chromebooks
It is worth noting that the PC industry looks to emerging markets such as India and Indonesia. Relying on a huge demographic dividend, these countries may become another blue ocean market for Chromebooks after the United States, Japan, and Europe. However, TrendForce believes that emerging markets such as India and Indonesia are currently suffering from rising inflation coupled with economic headwinds such as currency depreciation pressure. Chromebooks, which are relatively inexpensive in mature markets, may hold little allure for the Indian and Indonesian education markets, as white-label tablet products will put competitive pressure on Chromebooks at lower prices. In addition, whether procurement policies for distance learning tools in emerging markets such as “Digital India” can be effective depends on the priority of emerging market governments for budgeting projects. At present, such markets have placed more urgency on improving the quality of infrastructure while education tenders may be sidelined.
（Image credit: Pixabay）
Since corrections continue to occur in the current global notebook computer market as a result of the “overbooking” bubble, destocking of terminal products is expected to continue until the first half of 2023, when cyclical growth momentum is likely to return to the market.
TrendForce forecasts that global notebook computer market shipments will reach 191 million units in 2022, falling 22.3% YoY. The first quarter of 2022 benefitted from a backstop created by market demand for business model notebooks, laying the foundation for a 2022 “not-off off-season.” However, the global notebook computer market encountered zero-COVID control measures in Shanghai, China, resulting in a supply chain suspension in 2Q22. In addition, rising inflation stalled global consumer electronics market demand. Shipment volume is only expected to be approximately 44.35 million units up until 4Q22, demonstrating that 2022 has reversed the established market norm, replacing “QoQ growth” with “QoQ decline.”
Global notebook computer market shipments will reach 177 million units in 2023, cyclical growth momentum is expected to play an important role
Looking back on 2022, due to the reversal of demand in the global notebook computer market beginning in 2Q22, the overbooking bubble caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has corrected quarter by quarter, resulting in a sharp increase in inventory levels at PC brands. Therefore, accelerating the destocking of notebook computer products is the current focus of PC brands with individual sales channels all adopting promotional strategies based on substantial price cuts. If the inventory level of terminal products can be reduced, it will be beneficial for PC brands to continue purchasing semiconductors and other materials in 2023 and pessimistic market conditions will not spread to the foundry industry, which is conducive to a positive cycle.
Movements in the current global laptop market to correct for the overbooking bubble will continue until the first half of 2023. The second half of 2023 coincides with cyclical growth momentum from back-to-school shopping and holiday seasons in major consumer electronics markets such as the United States, Europe, China, and Japan, and the global notebook computer supply chain is expected to ramp up supply from 2Q23 to reproduce a demand scenario wherein the second half of previous years surpassed the first half. Global notebook computer market shipments is estimated to reach 177 million units in 2023, an annual decline of approximately 7.7% and the proportion of shipments in terms of the first half compared to the second half of the year will be approximately 47:53.
（ Image credit: pikwizard）