LCD panel


2022-03-31

[Russia-Ukraine] Intensifying Consequences of Russian-Ukrainian War and Rising Inflation, TV, LCD Monitor, Notebook Shipments Face Correction Pressure, Says TrendForce

As the Russian-Ukrainian war directly affects Eastern Europe and, indeed, the entire European market, the supply of raw materials has destabilized and prices continued to soar, exacerbating inflation and pummeling the global economy. In addition, lockdowns and work suspensions caused by the recent pandemic outbreak in China and the government’s insistence on a dynamic zero-COVID policy may lead to complex problems such as reductions in factory production efficiency and logistical delays. TrendForce indicates, the uncertainty of current global political and economic circumstances have upset demand for three major display applications including TVs, LCD monitors, and notebooks, overshadowing 1H22 with pressure to correct expectations.

TV panel prices nearly bottomed out, driving demand in TV market remains challenging

In terms of the TV market, due to the deleterious effect of the Russian-Ukrainian war on inflation and assuming consumer budgets remain unchanged, expenditures on non-essential items will fall, deferred demand for TV products. In addition, due to issues in 2021 such as the shortage of cargo containers and port congestion, shipping costs spiked, indirectly inflating the production cost of TV sets. Before the pandemic, shipping costs on a 65-inch TV was US$9. Last year, this jumped to US$50-US$100, scaling with TV size. Even though current TV panel pricing has plunged by 30% to 40% compared to last year’s peak, the fact that freight costs are not expected to improve in 2022 will inevitably affect TV brand promotions and scale of stocking during the peak season of overseas markets in 2H22. Therefore, TrendForce revises downward its TV shipment forecast for 2022, from the original 217 million units to 215 million units, reducing annual growth rate to 2.4%.

Stay-at-home economy effect vanishes, war worries dampen demand, dragging on demand for LCD monitors

In terms of the LCD monitor market, the scale of the 2022 market will be smaller than that in 2021 as the overall market is no longer supported by strong demand from last year’s stay-at-home economy. In addition, relatively stable past demand originating from the European market ran headlong into the Russian-Ukrainian war at the end of February. This, coupled with a subsequent butterfly effect that may lead to a downward revision in demand, as well as problems such as inflation and sustained high freight rates, make it difficult for brands to realize aggressive shipping goals. Therefore, TrendForce preliminarily revises downward its LCD monitor shipment forecast for this year, from 144 million units to 142 million units, expanding annual negative growth rate to 2.3%, without ruling out a possibility of further downward revision.

Notebook demand under downward pressure from inflation and soaring component inventories

In terms of the notebook computer market, TrendForce revises downward its original 238 million unit shipment forecast to 225 million units, a decrease of 8.5% YoY. There are three primary factors to this downgrade. First, Chromebooks benefited from the pandemic driving demand for distance education in 2021, accounting for 15% of total notebook shipments. Chromebook shipments are forecast to decline by more than 50% in 2022 as a whole, disrupting total notebook shipments by approximately 7~10%. Second, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine has caused most notebook brands to suspend shipments to Russia. Russia accounted for approximately 2% of global notebook shipments in 2021 and a suspension will also curb the demand for notebook shipments. Third, every notebook brand has revised 2022 shipment forecasts downward by approximately 10-15% on average compared to the beginning of the year, indicating that inflation has clouded these brand’s future demand outlook. The inventory of the entire supply chain including certain in-transit ODM/OEM components, continues to climb while the prices of some components continue to face downward pressure, resulting in intertwined problems and forcing notebook brands to prudently control purchasing momentum, which may further impact the upstream supply chain.

2022-03-31

[Russia-Ukraine] Repercussions of Russian-Ukrainian War and Rising Inflation, E-sports LCD Monitor Shipments Estimated at Approximately 26.1 Million Units in 2022, Annual Growth Reduced to 14%, Say TrendForce

According to the latest TrendForce research, although factors such as panel and component mismatch and supply issues and the fading effects of the stay-at-home economy influenced shipments of e-sports LCD monitors (defined as refresh rates above 100Hz) in 2021, many brands targeted e-sports LCD monitors in 4Q21 with a strategy of aggressively reducing e-sports product pricing to prompt a volume surge and successfully boosted shipments of e-sports LCD monitors to 22.8 million units in 2021, with an annual growth rate of 24%. However, growth momentum will slow in 2022. In addition to long lead times, the most significant variable remains the impact of the Russian-Ukrainian war. If the war continues, it will impair European market demand and affect the shipment performance of e-sports-related products. In addition, the Russian-Ukrainian war has triggered a surge in the prices of crude oil, metal, and agricultural commodities, spiking previously growing inflationary pressure. Thus, TrendForce conservatively estimates shipments of e-sports LCD monitors at 26.1 million units in 2022, with an annual growth rate of 14%.

In terms of product types, the market share of flat-screen e-sport LCD monitors reached 59% in 2021, officially surpassing the 41% of curved monitors. Last year, when Samsung Display (SDC) faded out of the supply chain, it caused a shortage in the supply of curved panels, increasing the magnitude of price hikes. In addition, the supply of flat IPS e-sports products continued to increase, resulting in a decline in the competitiveness of the curved panel market. In 2022, the market share of flat and curved panels will remain unchanged but the supply of curved gaming panels from the two major suppliers, AUO and CSOT, will continue to grow with curved e-sports panel pricing the first to fall. The cost-effective advantage of whole curved e-sports devices has reemerged, which will bump the market share of curved e-sports LCD monitors to 43%.

In terms of e-sports product resolution, FHD (1920×1080), QHD (2560×1440), UHD (3840×2160), and Ultra-wide (2560×1080/3440×1440/5120×1440, etc.), in 2021, FHD captured the highest market share at 62.9% followed by QHD, Ultra-wide, and UHD. TrendForce believes, in addition to continuously improving e-sports product specifications, the simultaneous improvement of resolution will assist monitor brands in maintaining or improving profitability. Especially since, starting from 4Q21, the supply of 34-inch (21:9) wide-screen VA products increased significantly. This coupled with noticeable panel price reductions, expands profit margin and allows monitor brands more room to operate and is expected to drive wide-screen monitors to compete for a 13.4% market share in 2022.

2022-02-09

Banned by the US, ChuZhou HKC Shipments Unaffected For Now, Says TrendForce

The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) of the U.S. Department of Commerce recently issued the latest Unverified List (UVL) which includes ChuZhou HKC Optoelectronics Technology Co., Ltd., according to TrendForce’s investigations. The announcement states that if U.S. suppliers wish to ship products to companies on the UVL, they can still submit documentation to obtain a shipping license. According to TrendForce’s understanding, the primary reason ChuZhou HKC is included on the UVL is that it plans to import panel-related analytical instruments from the United States in the near future, and actions taken by BIS are not indicative of the Chinese panel industry as a whole. Currently, ChuZhou HKC is in the process submitting proposals and negotiating with its U.S. material suppliers, thus TrendForce’s assessment is that there is no impact on the supply and shipment of ChuZhou HKC products for the time being.

It should be noted that according to TrendForce statistics, HKC’s Chuzhou plant will account for only 3.8% of global LCD panel capacity in 2022, which is a fairly insignificant share. However, this plant accounts for 30% of HKC’s own capacity, thereby playing a pivotal role in company production. The Chuzhou factory primarily produces TV panels and monitor panels, among which TV panels account for nearly 80% of the factory’s production. If the current ban cannot be resolved smoothly, it will impact shipments of HKC TV panels.

In addition, the glass substrates used in HKC’s Chuzhou factory are sourced from multiple glass substrate suppliers, with approximately 40% coming from Corning, a U.S. supplier. Since Corning localized it production according to the location of panel makers, it is not expected to be limited by the restrictions on the export of U.S. production to China enumerated on the UVL, but detailed regulations are still awaiting clarification. At present, the supply of materials has not been affected, HKC’s Chuzhou plant maintains normal operation, and its clients have yet to move panel procurement away from the Chuzhou production line.

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

2022-01-06

Annual Mini LED Notebook Computer Shipment for 2022 Expected to Reach Eight Million Units Thanks to Two New MacBook Pro Models

The market in general had high hopes for Mini LED notebook computers in 2021. Although most brands were relatively unenthusiastic towards the adoption of Mini LED displays, the release of Mini LED products by Apple will likely generate a copycat effect and inject fresh momentum into both demand and shipment for the Mini LED notebook market. Apple did, in fact, release two brand new MacBook Pros with 14.2-inch and 16.2-inch displays, both of which are equipped with Mini LED backlights as expected. However, these Mini LED notebook displays did not receive as much marketing and publicity as the Mini LED displays used for the iPad Pro models, which had been released about six months prior.

During the unveiling of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro in 2Q21, Apple made special mention of improvements brought about by the Liquid Retina XDR display technology thanks to the company’s adoption of Mini LED backlights. Conversely, perhaps because the new physical dimensions and processors took most of the spotlight, Apple was surprisingly quiet on its new MacBook Pro models’ Mini LED displays as it announced the release of these new computers during its October event. Not only did the Mini LED iPad Pros completely replace the previous edge-lit models, but these new tablets also featured a mere US$100 retail price hike, which basically entirely accounts for the cost of the new displays. Subsequently, the market began eagerly anticipating the release of the new Mini LED iPad Pro models. In contrast, whereas the 14.2-inch and 16.2-inch models of the new MacBook Pros also feature Mini LED displays exclusively, their retail prices saw significant jumps owing to the integration of multiple updated components and designs, in turn refreshing the enthusiasm of the market for Mini LED displays.

Thanks to the release of the two new MacBook models, annual Mini LED notebook shipment for 2021 reached 2.2 million units, representing a 1% penetration rate in the total notebook market. Regrettably, apart from MacBooks, the shipment volume of Mini LED notebooks released by non-Apple brands was rather insignificant. Looking ahead to 2022, given the all-out effort by Apple to ramp up MacBook shipment throughout the whole year, annual Mini LED notebook shipment for 2022 will likely undergo a staggering 360% YoY increase to eight million units for a 3.4% penetration rate. However, judging by notebook brands’ adoption of display solutions at the moment, most non-Apple brands will still gravitate towards OLED panels in 2022, with minimal adoption of Mini LED displays.

If Gen 8.5 OLED panel production lines are able to kick off mass production from 2024 onwards, will Apple transition its MacBook displays to a different solution much like it did for iPad? TrendForce believes that Apple has historically held a receptive attitude towards OLED solutions. Furthermore, from a technology assessment perspective, notebook computers and tablets are relatively similar in their display technologies and, to a lesser extent, use cases. If Apple does decide to transition iPad displays from Mini LED to OLED, then the company will likely do the same for MacBook display as well, in principle. On the other hand, LCD panels are still expected to remain the mainstream display technology for notebook computers in 2025. It, therefore, makes competitive sense for notebook brands to differentiate their products with OLED panels in the high-end segment and with LCD panels and Mini LED backlights in the premium mid-range segment or even mid-range segment. At any rate, given the shrinking gap between the cost structures of Mini LED solutions and OLED solutions, only by continually optimizing the manufacturing costs of Mini LED backlights can suppliers convince Apple to continue adopting Mini LED displays.

(Image credit: Pixabay)

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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