Panel Industry


2022-01-04

Market Penetration of Mobile Phone AMOLED Panels Forecast at 46% in 2022, AMOLED DDI Supply Still Tight, Says TrendForce


Benefiting from expanded introduction of AMOLED mobile phone models by Apple, Samsung and Chinese brands, the market penetration rate of AMOLED panels for mobile phones in 2021 was 42%, according to TrendForce‘s investigations. In 2022, continuous investment undertaken by numerous panel factories to expand AMOLED production lines will drive AMOLED panel penetration rate to an estimated 46%. However, TrendForce further asserts that the continued tight supply of AMOLED DDI and the willingness of mobile phone brands to expand the use of AMOLED panels will be the keys influencing AMOLED market penetration rate next year.

Continued tightness in AMOLED DDI supply for mobile phones

The AMOLED DDI process requires dedicated medium voltage 8V processes at the 40nm and 28nm nodes. However, the supply of dedicated process capacity in 2021 is limited. In addition, Samsung’s Austin, Texas fab was shut down due to a snowstorm in early 2021, resulting in serious shortages of AMOLED DDI. New capacity in 2022 includes UMC at the 28nm node and SMIC at the 40nm node. However, since capacity and expanded capacity still cannot effectively meet the various brand’s demand for AMOLED DDI, Samsung’s fab will continue to reduce OLED DDIC production scale in the future. Stocking issues are expected to plague AMOLED DDI continuing into 2022.

TrendForce states, UMC’s primary expansion plan for 28nm AMOLED DDI will be completed by the end of 2023, so AMOLED DDI supply tightness is expected to be alleviated in 2023. In addition, other foundries have plans to develop dedicated AMOLED DDI processes but, due to a belated development schedule, these plans will not be able to address the AMOLED DDI shortage in 2022. Facing limitations on dedicated AMOLED DDI production capacity, traditional front-line DDI design houses are actively booking the majority of production capacity, while other DDI design houses are also competing for limited production capacity in order to enter the AMOLED panel factory supply chain.

Mobile phone brands expand their willingness to adopt AMOLED panels

Facing the gradual maturity of AMOLED panel technology and the continuous improvement of production yields, AMOLED market penetration rate will increase from 42% in 2021 to 46% in 2022. This will reduce the market share of LTPS panels in the mid-tier market and drive panel makers to transfer LTPS production capacity to medium size applications. However, mobile phone brands face the risk of AMOLED DDI continuing to being out of stock in 2022. In addition to the high price of AMOLED panels and the steady increase in the pricing of other semiconductor components, in order for mobile phone brands to maintain profitability and achieve annual shipment goals, TrendForce expects that a small number of AMOLED products may switch over to LCD panels to pad shipments in the mid-to-low-end mobile phone market, allowing LTPS panel makers to gain a bit of breathing room in the mid-end market.

For more information on reports and market data from TrendForce’s Department of Display Research, please click here, or email Ms. Vivie Liu from the Sales Department at vivieliu@trendforce.com

2021-09-30

What risks does China’s power outage spell for the domestic panel manufacturing industry?

The impact on display panel production in China caused by the ongoing power outage has been manageable, although assembly plants in the downstream supply chain and component makers(for metal and plastic parts, for example)in the upstream supply chain have had to suspend operations as a result. Nevertheless, assuming these work stoppages conclude by the end of September, the aforementioned companies in the downstream/upstream supply chains will likely be able to make up for their lost production capacities by issuing overtime work. Hence, the power outage’s impact on their operations is ultimately expected to be rather limited.

In addition, it appears that the power outage will NOT affect the installation of new production capacities at all. However, given that power outages have continually taken place in cities including Guangzhou and Suzhou, attention needs to be paid to whether such power outages become a regular, cyclical occurrence for various cities in the future, especially without prior warning. Frequent, unannounced power outages may pose a challenge to panel manufacturers’ capacity allocation efforts.

(Image credit: Unsplash)

2021-09-14

Apparent Oversupply of TV Panels Expected to Be Partially Addressed Via Panel Manufacturers’ Production Capacity Adjustments in 4Q21, Says TrendForce

Thanks to their continued capacity expansion and M&A efforts, Chinese panel manufacturers accounted for nearly 60% of the global supply of TV panels in 1H21, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations. These suppliers have not only managed to dominate their global competitors, but also become the key determinant of the supply and demand situation in the TV panel market. TrendForce believes that, while the TV panel market has started to experience a bearish trend, the industry must pay close attention to whether Chinese suppliers will eschew their previous strategy of maximum capacity utilization and instead turn to other options in order to maintain the health of the overall market. Taiwanese and Korean suppliers, on the other hand, have opted for a strategy that optimizes their existing operations by reallocating some of their production capacities from TV panels to other product categories such as IT panels. In addition to raising these suppliers’ competitiveness through better product differentiation, the reallocation of production capacity also alleviates the suppliers’ pressure of having to rely solely on TV products to expend their panel capacities.

Because the TV panel market’s out-of-balance supply and demand situation is unlikely to be resolved on its own, certain panel manufacturers have already begun assessing the feasibility of adjusting their production capacities for 4Q21. In particular, Gen 8.5 and Gen 10.5 production lines, which manufacture the majority of TV panels, play a key role in ensuring balance between the market’s supply and demand. While panel suppliers are expected to independently reduce their current capacity utilization rates, their new production lines will also gravitate towards a slowdown in panel output. Furthermore, ongoing issues with the supply of glass substrates will also constrain the capacity utilization rates of certain panel suppliers.

Taking the above considerations into account, TrendForce expects Gen 5 (and above) production lines to contribute to the supply of all display panels, measured by total panel area, by 2.5% less than previously expected for 4Q21. As well, in order to alleviate the pressure of excess production capacity for TV panels, panel suppliers will not only increase the share of 85-inch (and above) TV panels in their current output, but also reallocate some of their production capacities from TV panels to IT panels, including desktop monitor panels and notebook panels, both of which are currently in demand. These aforementioned assumptions would suggest that total TV panel input by area is expected to undergo a 2.1% QoQ decline for 4Q21. In particular, Gen 8.5 lines, which account for much of TV panel manufacturing, will experience the most noticeable capacity reduction at an 11.5% QoQ drop for 4Q21.

For more information on reports and market data from TrendForce’s Department of Display Research, please click here, or email Ms. Vivie Liu from the Sales Department at vivieliu@trendforce.com

2021-08-17

Prices of Notebook Panels Expected to Plummet in Late 4Q21

The current state of the notebook panel market shows that prices of notebook panels are likely to follow the same trend set by TV panels and monitor panels in 4Q21. In other words, notebook panels may see their prices plummet from the previous uptrend during the quarter.

Notebook brands are confident that a wave of demand for commercial notebooks will take the place of the prior demand for consumer notebooks. Objectively speaking, however, as soon as enterprises return to pre-pandemic business operations, they are unlikely to immediately spend a considerable amount of their budget on refreshing their existing hardware, including notebook computers.

On the other hand, although consumer purchases comprised most WFH demand for notebooks within the past year, these notebooks were purchased with subsidies funded by the buyers’ workplaces. Once consumers return to physical offices for work following the termination of WFH, their purchased notebooks will then be returned to the workplaces as well. Hence, notebook brands which previously anticipated an upcoming wave of replacement demand for business notebooks may be overly optimistic in their expectations. As such, although notebook shipment has remained bullish in 3Q21, notebook sales are likely to gradually slow down going forward, meaning notebook vendors and brands alike may enter into a key period of inventory adjustment in 4Q21. At the same time, notebook manufacturers will also decelerate their procurement activities for panels across their entire range of notebook computers.


The four largest notebook panel suppliers still exert significant influence over the market’s overall supply of notebook panels, although newcomer HKC is not to be underestimated in terms of its potential to do the same, even pertaining to quotes. While HKC did not ship a single notebook panel in 2020, the company has ambitiously targeted an annual shipment of 10 million units this year in light of the expanded production capacity for IPS panels at its Mianyang fab. In 1H21, however, the display industry suffered a severe shortage of driver ICs, whose manufacturers first sought to ensure a steady supply of driver ICs for their more established clients. Being a notebook panel supplier that had had no business foundation, HKC, as was typical of such upstart companies, had its supply of driver ICs accordingly “adjusted” by driver IC suppliers. HKC was hence unable to effectively raise its shipment for 1H21.

As the demand for panels from various end-product segments slows down in 2H21, the shortage situation of driver ICs is also expected to either lessen somewhat or even turn into a supply-demand equilibrium. As such, HKC is likely to procure more driver ICs from its suppliers and subsequently step up its notebook panel shipment to 3.5 million units in 3Q21 and 4 million units in 4Q21. HKC’s increase in panel shipment for 2H21, if proven successful, will place downward pressure on notebook panel prices, thereby weakening said prices going forward.

TrendForce believes that 11.6-inch panels, the market for which has been relatively bearish, will most likely experience a decline in quotes starting in early 4Q21. At this size, even Full HD/IPS products, quotes for which have been relatively high in 3Q21, are likely to see their quotes hold flat in November 2021 and experience a sudden downward pressure on prices at the end of the year. Should the COVID-19 pandemic be brought under control on a global scale, demand for consumer electronics would likely return to its cyclical downturn in 1Q22, and the notebook panel market, despite its relatively robust supply chain, would see a more severe overall price accordingly.

(Cover image source: Unsplash)

2021-08-05

OLED Panels Expected to Reach 3% Penetration in TV Panel Market in 2021 Owing to Persistently Narrowing Price Gap with LCD Panels, Says TrendForce

Thanks to TV manufacturers’ aggressive procurement activities, global TV panel shipment for 1H21 reached 135.2 million pcs, a 3.5% YoY increase, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations. Notably, high-end OLED TV panels and 8K LCD TV panels showed diametrically opposed movements. The former product category reached a 2.6% market share in 1H21 (with room for further growth going forward) due to LGD’s capacity expansion as well as the narrowing gap between OLED panel prices and LCD panel prices. On the other hand, the latter’s market share fell to a mere 0.2% in 1H21 as panel suppliers were generally reluctant to manufacture 8K LCD TV panels due to these panels’ poor yield rates.

TrendForce’s findings indicate that Chinese panel suppliers were able to achieve a 58.3% share in the TV panel market, which was nearly 5 percentage points higher than their 1H20 market share, thanks to their growing number of production lines. Conversely, Taiwanese suppliers saw their market share drop by 2.2 percentage points from 1H20 levels to 21.1% in 1H21. This decline took place because of their limited production capacities and because they reallocated some of their production capacities for TV panels to IT products instead. Korean suppliers likewise experienced a decline in market share to 14.3% after SDC shuttered its Korea-based LCD fabs L7-2 and L8-1-2 and sold its Suzhou-based Gen 8.5 fab to CSOT. Finally, Japanese suppliers’ market shares increased to 6.3% as a result of SDPC’s Gen 10.5 capacity expansion.

Regarding OLED TV panels, which are relatively high-end products, it should be pointed out that LGD is the sole supplier of these panels. Not only did LGD expand the production capacity of its Guangzhou-based OLED panel fab, but LGD’s clients in the TV sector were also increasingly willing to procure OLED panels in light of the narrowing gap between OLED panel prices and LCD panel prices. Hence, the penetration rate of OLED panels in the TV panel market grew to 2.6% in 1H21, with about 3.556 million pcs shipped throughout the period. Furthermore, now that the Guangzhou fab’s OLED panel capacity reached 90k sheets/month in 2Q21, TrendForce expects annual OLED TV panel shipment for 2021 to reach 8 million pcs, with a 3% penetration rate in the overall TV panel market.

On the other hand, 8K LCD TV panels reached a mere 0.2% penetration rate in the TV panel market in 1H21 because panel suppliers’ concerns about profit and yield maximization resulted in their relatively low willingness to manufacture these products. On the demand side, clients were also unwilling to procure these panels due to persistently high quotes from suppliers. With regards to panel suppliers, CSOT in particular benefitted from the unique structure of its client base, which allowed it to dominate more than half of the 8K LCD TV panel market, with AUO taking second place. The respective market shares of CSOT and AUO currently sit at 54.4% and 22.6%. TrendForce forecasts a 0.2% penetration rate for 8K LCD TV panels for 2021 as the growth of these products is constrained by their relatively high prices and the current paucity of 8K content.

For more information on reports and market data from TrendForce’s Department of Display Research, please click here, or email Ms. Vivie Liu from the Sales Department at vivieliu@trendforce.com

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