Owing to high demand generated by the proliferation of WFH and distance education, monitor shipment for 2020 reached 140 million units, an 8.6% growth YoY, which represents the highest growth in about 10 years, according TrendForce’s latest investigations. With demand persisting through 1H21, monitor shipment for 1Q21 underwent a staggering YoY increase of 34.1%, and this figure is projected to exceed 10% for 2Q21. Total monitor shipment for 2021 will likely reach 150 million units, a 7.3% growth YoY. Gaming monitors, which have been gaining attention in the monitor market, are expected to make up 17.3% of this total and reach 25.9 million units in shipment in 2021. In addition to being one of the most in-demand applications in the stay-at-home economy, this product category has long been a resource-intensive focus of monitor brands and panel suppliers alike.
TrendForce indicates that, among the top 10 largest monitor brands, Samsung Electronics and Asus are expected to record the most remarkable shipment growths in 2021. Although Samsung is drastically cutting down on the panel supply of its subsidiary Samsung Display this year, it has also been aiming to expand its share in the monitor market since last year. Samsung therefore already has preparations in place regarding the procurement of panels and monitors from third-party manufacturers. Samsung’s monitor shipment for 2021 is expected to undergo a 20% growth YoY, the highest among the top 10 brands. On the other hand, Asus is expected to post a more than 10% growth YoY this year thanks to high demand in the consumer markets as well as skyrocketing sales of its gaming monitors.
Monitor brands are likely to raise their products’ retail prices in 2Q21 in light of surging panel prices caused by shortage
In spite of the strong upward momentum in the monitor market, the supply chain of panels and other key components has been unable to meet the demands of monitor brands, in turn partially inhibiting the potential growth of monitor shipment in 1H21. TrendForce further indicates that panel supply fell short of panel demand by as much as 11% in 1Q21, and the resultant shortage caused panel prices to enter a gradual upward trajectory. Prices of panel modules increased by about US$3.5-4.5 on average in both March and April. As the shortage of panels remains unaddressed in May, TrendForce expects panel prices to continue their climb throughout the month.
On the whole, TrendForce believes that certain brands are starting to experience financial losses in 2Q21 since panel prices have been increasing for nearly nine months. Brands will thus start raising the retail prices of their monitors in 2Q21 in response to rising costs. As such, whether the high demand for monitors in the consumer markets will persist going forward remains to be seen.