2014 is undoubtedly a fruitful year for the panel industry. In addition to the overall increase in panel price, even though the industry has already entered the mature stage, the four major applications (TV, monitor, notebook and tablet) still reached a total panel shipment of 826.8 million units, showing a stellar performance of 2.2% annual growth rate. This is considered as a rare performance of increases in both price and shipments. Winnie Chen, Assistant Manager at WitsView, a research division of TrendForce, indicates that the 2015 panel industry supply/ demand balance will not be as tight as 2014. With the basis of not considering the panel maker’s production capacity adjustment, the glut ratio will increase from the -0.4% of 2014 to 5.4% in 2015.
In 2015, the overall supply and demand situation is healthy, but it is not one without concerns. “Even panel demand might not be bad in the first quarter of 2015, which is considered as slow season, the inventory will keep accumulating and might hit a relatively high level in the second quarter. At the same time, the start of three whole-new Generation 8.5 product lines in China will be joining the production. Both factors will possibly harm the industry’s confidence,” said Chen. Therefore, one of the key points to observe in next year is whether or not the hot season will be hot in the second half of 2015.
TV panel will keep uplifting in terms of quantity, size and area
WitsView forecasts the 2015 TV panel shipment annual growth rate to be at 3.4%. With the popular trend of larger panels, the average size of shipped panel grew by 0.5 inches and the area was also enlarged by 6.3%. In addition to the overall increase in quantity, size and area, the market’s focal point on the 4K penetration will also grow continuously. Therefore, for the TV Panel Market, 2015 is still a year with a lot of expected chatter and buzz.
Monitor and notebook panels challenged by declining shipments
Even though in 2015, the monitor and notebook panel shipments may both face the challenges of falling shipments, the developments for specification upgrades remain hopeful. “Following the footsteps of increase TV panel sizes, monitors are also aggressively expanding their large-sized product ratio; the 2015 monitor panel shipment’s area is expected to grow by 2.6%,” said Chen. On the other hand, while the notebook panels are lacking in size increases, Taiwanese panel makers, AUO and Innolux are focused on high resolution products to battle against Korean panel makers, Samsung and LGD’s wide-viewing angle panels strategy. The dual development engines will instill new momentum into the 2015 notebook panel market.
Tablet panels to see 1.3% decline in shipment
Tablet panel’s performance is relatively weak. Due to the gradual product maturation, this year’s slowing demand climate will be likely to continue into 2015, dragging down the panel to show a 1.3% of decline in shipment. Even though large-sized panel continues to be launched, small-sized products has not been affected to remain still as the main stream. Therefore, the area may also encounter a 0.9% annual decline.