Owing to the stay-at-home economy brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, not only did yearly notebook computer shipment surpass 200 million units for the first time ever, but the 22.5% YoY growth was also the highest on record, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations. However, in comparison with 2Q20, during which production lines resumed operations, and notebook demand saw an uptick, the current global market is plagued by the ever-intensifying pandemic, with various countries instating border control and lockdown measures, making it impossible at the moment to accurately forecast the state of the notebook market in 2H21. Nevertheless, TrendForce currently expects global notebook shipment for 2021 to reach 217 million units, an 8.1% increase YoY. Incidentally, it should be noted that the increasing popularity of distance education has also galvanized a rising demand for Chromebooks, which have contributed substantially to the growth of the overall market. Chromebooks accounted for 14.8% of the global notebook shipment in 2020, while this rate is expected to rise to 18.5% in 2021.
Owing to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, global smartphone production reached a mere 1.25 billion units in 2020, a record-breaking 11% YoY decrease, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations. The top six smartphone brands ranked by production volume for 2020, in order, are Samsung, Apple, Huawei, Xiaomi, OPPO, and Vivo. The most glaring change from the previous year is Huawei’s market share.
Despite previous expectations to shutter its LCD panel manufacturing operations, Samsung Display (SDC) will continue manufacturing panels in Korea, with a Gen 7 and two Gen 8.5 production lines operating throughout 1Q21, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations. However, in consideration of costs, technological transition schedules, and client demand for specific panel sizes, SDC is expected to retain manufacturing operations at only one Gen 8.5 production line in 4Q21. It should also be noted that, instead of being an indefinite extension, SDC’s continued panel manufacturing is expected to conclude by the end of 2021.
Demand for IT panels skyrocketed in 2020 due to the rising popularity of WFH and distance education, in turn propelling large-sized display driver IC (LDDI) demand to 5.827 billion units, a 2.3% growth YoY, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations. In the upstream semiconductor supply chain, various foundries’ 8-inch wafer capacities have mostly been allocated to other chips with higher profit margins, in turn lowering the glut ratio of LDDI from 3.3% in 2019 to 1.7% in 2020, representing a tightening supply.
Owing to the rapidly growing demand for EV quick charging poles, as well as the recovering market for consumer electronics and industrial control systems, there has been a shortage of chips and raw materials in the upstream supply chain, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations. Therefore, prices for photocouplers, which are an essential component in the aforementioned products, will gradually rise throughout 2021.