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Surge of 4K Panel Shipments in April Reflects Switch in Strategy for TV Brand Vendors, Says TrendForce

15 May 2015 Display TrendForce

The newest display panel shipment report from WitsView, a division of TrendForce, reveals that the combined shipments of the six largest panel makers in April totaled 19.68M units, an 8% monthly decline but a 5.4% increase compared with the same period of the previous year. Among them, only SDC maintained about the same shipment level as with the previous month, whereas the other five saw shipment decline. On the whole, there were no noteworthy changes in the monthly total shipment volume with the exception of TV vendors stocking up 4K panels. 

WitsView’s shipment forecast for the second quarter finds the overall result from the Chinese Labor Day sales in China fell short of expectation. Nonetheless, the excess panel capacity is being consumed by TV brand vendors stocking up 4K and large-size panels. Furthermore, the yield rate differences among Gen 8.5 fabs has eased the concern of panel oversupply. In sum, the overall shipment performance in the second quarter will be determined mainly by the results of 4K and large-size panels rather than the total shipment volume. 

And in the case of April’s 4K panel shipments, the six largest panel makers shipped a combined total of 3.1M units. The penetration rate of the 4K panels in the overall panel market in April reached 16%, a 4.4% increase compared with March. The changing product strategies from the TV brand vendors moreover drove the 4K panel market, where SDC enjoyed an outstanding 25% in brand penetration in April. LGD, AUO, and Innolux by contrast saw 15% in their respective brand penetration. WitsView’s analysis indicates that since the start 2015, international TV brands have shifted their focus to innovative and high-margin products with value-added features. Consequently, large-size and UHD TVs are given more importance in their strategies. A review of April’s 4K panel shipments by the six largest panel makers shows the 55-inch is still the most demanded size category with a monthly shipment increase of 35%. 4K panels sized 48 inches, 49 inches, and 65 inches also posted impressive monthly growths of 20.8%, 34.5%, and 5% respectively. 

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