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Taiwanese Makers To Lead 4K Panel Production

Santa Clara, Calif. — Taiwanese LCD panel manufacturers Innolux and AUO are forecasted to lead the world in production of 4K Ultra HD LCD TV panels in 2014, according a newly released quarterly report from NPD DisplaySearch.

The NPD DisplaySearch “Quarterly LCD TV Value Chain & Insight Report” said 4K LCD TV panels have become increasingly available and affordable to TV manufacturers as the Taiwanese manufacturers have ramped up production.

The two companies are expected to account for 58 percent of the market in 2014, followed by Korean manufacturers (Samsung Display and LG Display) at 25 percent, and Chinese manufacturers (ChinaStar and BOE) at 14 percent.

But DisplaySearch said a significant difference exists in the 4K TV marketing strategies employed by Chinese manufacturers compared to other major global brands.

“Chinese brands are aiming to sell 4K TVs at a small premium in their domestic market, while global brands want to maximize image quality,” DisplaySearch said. “Some panel makers are promoting reduced-specification 4K TV panels to lower cost and increase shipment volume; however, this strategy might not fit well with top brands aiming to position 4K TV as a high-end segment sold at premium prices.”

As Chinese brands continue to lead 4K TV manufacturing and shipments, 4K panel demand from China’s top six television brands is crucial to all panel makers, the report finds.

For example, China Star expects 90 percent of its 4K TV panels to go to China’s top six brands, BOE 70 percent, Innolux 57 percent, and AUO 56 percent.

The top global television panel makers, Samsung Display and LG Display, have relatively modest plans for 4K panel production, and expect much of their production to go to their affiliated TV brands. Those brands, Samsung and LGE, each plan to source about 60 percent of their 4K TV panels from their in-house panel manufacturers this year, DisplaySearch said.

“The 4K display demand from their related TV brands is critical to the ability of Samsung Display and LG Display to compete effectively within the growing 4K TV market,” said Deborah Yang, DisplaySearch monitors and TV research director. “The ability of the Korean panel makers to expand 4K panel production is dependent on their success in securing more 4K display clients, beyond satisfying the needs of their own 4K TV brands.”

“The rise of the 4K TV market is mainly driven by the supply side, while leading TV brands are concerned about the value proposition of 4K TVs,” Yang said. “While some TV brands are considering increasing their 4K TV shipment targets, we continue to see a mismatch between 4K TV panel supply plans and consumer purchasing expectations.”