The stay-at-home economy generated by the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in persistent demand for IT products such as monitors, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations. However, the shortage of monitor panels has been increasingly severe since non-IT panels have been occupying most of manufacturers’ production capacities, while foundries’ wafer capacities dedicated to IC products have also become increasingly strained. Furthermore, Samsung Display (SDC) is set to shutter its panel manufacturing operations within 2021, during which its monitor panel market share is expected to drop to 1% from last year’s 12%, and as the ownership of CEC Panda’s Gen 8.5 production line transfers to BOE, other panel suppliers are likely to benefit from these events.
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.
Last week, a power outage took place at NEG’s (Nippon Electric Glass) glass manufacturing facility located in Takatsuki, and the company promptly issued work stoppage at the plant in response, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations. TrendForce believes that, although NEG’s production capacity is expected to gradually recover, the incident will still lower the supply of large-sized glass substrates by 2.5% in 1Q21. As a result, quotes for large-sized panels, which have been in shortage for the past six months, will remain high in 1Q21 due to the power outage incident.
Owing to the rise of the stay-at-home economy brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, yearly Apple MacBook shipment for 2020 is expected to reach 15.5 million units, a 23.1% increase YoY, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations. Thanks to the November 11 release of the new Mac models and the Apple Silicon M1 processor, MacBook shipment is expected to set a record high in 2021 by reaching 17.1 million units and potentially growing by more than 10% YoY.