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LCD TV Panels, 4K Units Set Records In March: IHS

Santa Clara, Calif. — LCD TV panel shipments reach a record monthly high in March, according to research from IHS, reaching 23.9 million units, a 20 percent gain month over month and an 11 percent gain year over year. 4K LCD panels also hit a monthly high.

Overall panel shipments declined seasonally in the first quarter, according to IHS’s Monthly TFT LCD Shipment Database, attributed to the Chinese New Year holidays in February, which meant fewer working days in LCD cell fabs in Asia and LCD module lines in China. However, positive year-over-year growth is still expected based on the strong rebound in March.

“Although the LCD TV panel demand has shown signs of slowing after the holidays, leading TV brands are preparing their new models for launch, so orders are not diminished,” said Yoonsung Chung, director of large area display research for IHS. “Meanwhile, panel makers are aggressively introducing 4K resolution, wide color gamut, ultra-slim bezels and other new features, to improve panel shipment growth.”

March’s LCD shipment growth represented a shift in LCD TV size trends. The 23.6-inch display, which is primarily available in emerging regions, shipped a record 2.1 million units. Other display sizes setting records last month were 40-inch displays (3.3 million), 43-inch displays (1.2 million), 49-inch displays (0.9 million) and 65-inch displays (0.4 million).

4K LCD TV panel shipments grew from 1.7 million in February to a record-setting 2.6 million units in March. Red-green-blue-white (RGBW) pixel-layout technology, which can help reduce power consumption, is expected to rise rapidly in 2015 as the industry’s acceptance of this technology has gradually extended from the Chinese market to the global market.

While LCD TV panel shipments reached 253 million units in 2014, panel makers are aggressively targeting 261 million units this year. “Demand will slow, beginning in the second quarter of 2015, and panel prices are already starting to fall, so TV panel shipments may face some growth challenges in the coming months,” Chung said.