The latest research on the LCD monitor market by WitsView, a division of TrendForce, finds that product shipments were fairly subdued in the first half of 2017. In the beginning of the year, prices were high for small-size TN panels that are generally used in products suited for driving shipments. Brand vendors working mainly on the consumer segment of the monitor market thus opted to focus on selling high-margin products rather than growing their overall shipments. Their product mixes during the first half of the year favored large-size segments and niche applications.
The market dynamics has changed since the start of this August. Anita Wang, senior research manager of WitsView, pointed out that with most monitor brands adopting similar strategies, prices of TN panels began to slide in the second quarter due to the sharp decline in demand. “After several months of price and inventory adjustments, prices of small-size TN panels were again at the sweet spot for the brand vendors,” said Wang. “Consequently, monitor shipments returned to growth in the third quarter as brand vendors want to meet or exceed their annual targets.”
Besides shipments being spurred by the lowering of TN panel prices, a surge of procurement contracts available for bidding in China during the third quarter has also given a big boost to monitor demand. These factors, plus the second quarter being the shorter base period for comparison, led to an 8% shipment increase for the third quarter. The monitor market has not achieved this level of quarterly shipment growth since 2009.
Wang added that because of the low prices of TN panels and seasonal headwinds, consumer demand was focused on 21.5- and 19.5-inch monitors carrying TN panels. At the same time, these models were the profitable ones for brand vendors to ship in greater volumes. With prices for 21.5- and 19.5-inch TN panels starting to stabilize in October, WitsView expects monitor brands will continue to aggressively stock up these two panel products from now to the end of November.