SANTA CLARA, CALIF. —A new NPD/Display- Search study said TFT LCD panel suppliers are still forecasting 2012 shipments to grow 8 percent to 757 million units and revenue to increase 13 percent to $85.3 billion this year.
The firm’s “Quarterly Large-Area TFT Panel Shipment Report” said the higher growth will be triggered by strong demand for mobile PC and LCD TV panels.
“The growth in shipments and revenue this year shows that the TFT LCD industry is recovering from price declines and supply-chain inventory adjustments, although the recovery looks very modest,” stated David Hsieh, greater China market VP for NPD DisplaySearch. “Panel makers are quickly adapting to the shifts in demand and developing new technologies, features and sizes. Chinese LCD makers are rapidly increasing production, and Korean, Japanese and Taiwanese manufacturers are restructuring and deploying new technologies and processes to improve costs and display performance. It is clear that the TFT LCD industry has not yet reached maturity but is simply entering a new chapter.
” Mobile PC/tablet panels (excluding mini-note PCs) are growing, with notebook PC panel shipments forecasted to grow 13 percent year to year, due to strong promotions for existing models and the recently introduced Ultrabook models championed by Intel, DisplaySearch said.
Tablet PC panel makers are targeting shipments of 72.8 million units of 9.7-inch panels in 2012, including those for the iPad 2, the latest iPad and private-label tablet products.
Shipments of 10.1-inch tablet panels are expected to be more than 17 million in 2012.
Shipments of 10.6-inch panels, including Microsoft’s Surface tablet, are also seeing a strong ramp up in the second half of 2012. Total tablet PC panel shipments are expected to rise 61 percent year over year.
On the other hand growth in LCD TV panel shipments will be only minimal, the report found. 2011 was the first year that shipments of LCD TV panels declined, and panel makers were looking for a turnaround this year.
For 2012, they targeted 6 percent growth, expecting stronger demand in China, triggered by replacements, new models and the country’s energy subsidy program.
LCD TV panel prices rebounded in Q2 2012, and prices of some sizes are still rising due to the tight supply in Q3 2012.
New TV panel sizes, such as 28W, 29W, 39W, 50W, 58W, 60W and 65W inches, are also playing a key role in shipment growth.