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Tablet Panel Shipments Reach Record Levels in August

23 October 2013

Tablet panels recorded their best numbers yet in August when total shipments hit an all-time peak, boosted by demand for soon-to-launch new tablet products from the likes of Apple and other global brands, according to an LCD shipments database report from IHS Inc.

Global tablet panel shipments by the end of August amounted to 23.7 million units, up a robust 27 percent from 18.7 million in July. The August number beat the previous high of 21.8 million attained in March, and its growth rate was hands down also the most expansive increase for 2013 on a monthly basis, eclipsing the 18 percent rise seen earlier in March.

The strong tablet performance helped push worldwide panel shipments in August for liquid-crystal displays (LCD) to 74.3 million units. August not only reversed two months of shipment declines, it also marks the high point for the market so far this year.

The top LCD panel makers of Samsung Display, LG Display, AUO and Innolux all managed to increase their panel shipments to customers in August, and all four applications in which LCD panels are used—TVs, monitors, notebook PCs and tablets—also benefited from the growth.

To be sure the tablet sector was the runaway star for the month, being the only segment of the four applications to grow when either annual or monthly figures are invoked. Demand is up at present because new tablets are launching or about to be unveiled. Microsoft’s new Surface 2 tablet has already entered the market, while expectations are high that Apple will soon be introducing a new iPad 5 as well as a fresh iPad mini 2.

Thanks to continued growth, tablet panel shipments could approach close to 30 million units every month in the fourth quarter, IHS believes.

TVs, monitors and notebooks also do well—but not like tablets

In comparison to the lively tablet panels segment, the three other sectors posted year-over-year declines for the month, though shipments in August for each segment were up from July.

In the TV panels segment, shipments were up 2 percent on the month but down 7 percent for the year. Responsible for generating the biggest chunk of revenue in the overall LCD panel market, TV panel shipments in August amounted to 19.0 million units. While growth was good in the first half, the segment is slowing down as the rest of the year unfolds. The vigorous China market for TV panels is weakening, dragging the rest of the world with it.

Notebook panel shipments totaled 16.8 million units, up 13 percent from July. Even so, the segment is far behind last year’s numbers, down 21 percent from August 2012. Like their desktop counterparts, notebook PCs have suffered as other mobile devices like smartphones and tablets have risen to the fore.

Monitor panels, meanwhile, were up 6 percent on the month to reach 14.1 million units. The sector’s decline in shipments on a year-over basis, at nearly 9 percent, was less than the steep fall of notebooks but higher by a couple of percentage points than the TV panels space.

In the super-large-sized category for 60-inches and above, LCD panel shipments were up 9 percent in August. Japan’s Sharp led in growth, spurred by increased demand for larger TV sizes as well as for the new ultra-high-definition television sets just arriving on the consumer market.

Sharp remains the dominant player in the super-large-sized LCD panel space, but Samsung Display and LG Display have also grown their market share by shipping 60-inch, 65-inch and 75-inch panels.

Read more >> Tablet panel shipments reach historic high



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