Report: Global Tablet Panel Shipments to Increase 69% in 2013 Print E-mail
Written by Chelsey Drysdale   
Wednesday, 03 July 2013 14:50

EL SEGUNDO, CA – Boosted by orders from unbranded, white-box Chinese manufacturers, global demand for tablet panels is exceeding expectations, spurring IHS to increase its forecast for displays by 6% for 2013.

A total of 262 million displays for tablets are forecast to be shipped in 2013, compared to the previous forecast of 246 million, says the firm. This represents 69% growth from 2012.

“Competitive dynamics in the tablet market have changed dramatically this year as Chinese white-box smartphone makers have entered the tablet market in droves,” said Ricky Park, senior manager for large-area displays at IHS. “These companies are producing massive quantities of low-end tablets that appeal to consumers in China and other developing economies. Because of this, the white-box manufacturers are driving up demand for tablet panels, particularly smaller displays using the older twisted nematic technology, rather than the newer screens using in-plane switching.”

Unbranded tablet makers purchased 40% of all tablet panels in April, up from 17% in the first quarter of 2012.

Partly because of the rise of white-box makers, shipments of smaller 8" and 9" tablet displays will rise by nearly 200% in 2013, says IHS. In contrast, larger displays in the 9", 10" and 11" range will suffer a 5% decline.

The boom in white-box tablets is being driven the introduction of turnkey designs offered by processor makers, the firm says.

Makers of displays for the shrinking PC market have switched over to the tablet market, spurring a glut that has depressed pricing. As prices have fallen, the white-box makers have demonstrated enough flexibility to boost production of low-cost tablets.

IHS believes the strong growth of tablet panel demand continued in the second quarter. The arrival of more turnkey tablet design solutions will drive up demand for 7" and 8" panels throughout the year.

The 8" panels are becoming an increasingly large segment of the tablet market, with a display area more appealing to users than the 7" size. In all, the 8" panels accounted for 11% of panel shipments in April, with Samsung and Acer having recently launched new tablets in that size. With more introductions likely coming in the third quarter, IHS expects a substantial market share for the 8" by the end of this year.

The market for larger-sized, 10" and bigger tablet panels may begin to enjoy a recovery in shipments with the launch of the new Intel Corp. Atom microprocessor, code-named Bay Trail. This new device could help reduce the cost of x86 microprocessor-based tablets and improve battery life. Bay Trail also could generate opportunities for hybrid-form tablets that include keyboards.





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