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Press Releases
3Q17 Shipments of Branded LCD Monitors Rose 8% from Prior Quarter Due to Bounce Back in Demand, Says TrendForce


Display / Consumer Electronics

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 215- and 195-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 215- and 195-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

Press Releases
China With a Production Capacity Share of 35.7% Will Supplant South Korea This Year as Top Producing Region for Large-Size LCD Panels, Says TrendForce


Telecommunications / Display / Consumer Electronics

The latest analysis by WitsView, a division of TrendForce, reveals that China is set to overtake South Korea this year as the leading producing region for large-size LCD panels In terms of area, China’s share of the global production capacity for large-size panels will surpass South Korea’s in 2017 By 2020, China’s share of the global capacity area may reach around 50% “Both domestic and foreign panel makers continue to build and expand their fabs in China because of the country’s enormous market and the financial support from the Chinese government, said Anita Wang, senior research manager of WitsView “At the same time, the capacity share of South Korea has shrunk Samsung Display (SDC) closed its Gen-7 fab L7-1 at the end of 2016, and both SDC and LG Display (LGD) have lowered their Gen-5 capacity” According to WitsView’s latest estimate, China’s share of global capacity area for large-size panels will reach 357% for 2017, up from 301% for 2016 Taiwan’s capacity share is projected to jump from 289% in 2016 to 298% in 2017, making the island the second-largest producing region South Korea will slide down to third place in the 2017 capacity share ranking with 288%, a significant drop from its leading share of 341% in 2016 Several major panel makers have invested heavily in Gen-105 capacity With the South Korean panel makers lowering their production capacity, the global production capacity in area for large-size panels is estimated to reach 2466 million square meters, representing an annual increase of just 13% This year’s capacity area growth rate is also the lowest within the recent two- to three-year period Over the next three years, however, six new Gen-105 fabs are expected to be in operation, and capacity area growth will again take off WitsView forecast that the global capacity area for large-size panels will expand by 8% to 9% annually from 2018 and 2020, totaling around 3178 million square meters per year by the end of the period Wang added: “Looking ahead, investments in production capacity among competing panel makers will reach a new level Next year, a Gen-105 fab in Hefei, China, owned by BOE Technology (BOE) will be entering mass production, thus replacing Sharp’s Gen-10 fab in Japan’s Sakai as the world’s largest-generation panel fab Nonetheless, other major panel makers are also planning to establish their own Gen-105 lines within the next several years” A survey of Gen-105 fabs that are under planning or construction shows that in China, domestic panel maker China Star Optoelectronics Technology (CSOT) will build a plant in Shenzhen, while BOE plans to set up another line in Wuhan There is also a Gen-105 facility that is being built in Guangzhou by Sakai Display Products (SDP) In the US, the Wisconsin project that was announced by Foxconn is expected to include a Gen-105 line as well As for South Korea, there are reports of LGD planning to build a plant Paju for processing Gen-105 glass substrates Rapid expansion of Gen-105 capacity will also increase the risk of oversupply in the future Comparatively, the area size of a piece of Gen-105 glass substrate is about 18 times as large as that of a piece of Gen-85 glass substrate Given the size difference, the risk of oversupply for large-size panels is going to be much greater as more Gen-105 capacity becomes available WitsView points out that the panel industry over the past several years has worked to raise the demand for large-size TV sets as to help consume the production capacity of fabrication lines of larger generations With more Gen-105 facilities entering mass production, the industry will be pushing panels sized 65 inches or larger as the main products for the TV market There will also be corresponding promotional activities from panel makers and TV brands to have consumer demand concentrate on that ultra-large size range as well WitsView furthermore anticipates that panel makers with Gen-105 capacity will be under pressure to lower their prices, and this in turn will affect prices of panels that come from fabs of smaller generations Currently, most 65-inch panels are made on Gen-6 lines, while 75-inch panels mainly roll out from Gen-75 lines When the new Gen-105 fabs enter operation, products made in Gen-6 and Gen-75 plants will be facing intense price competition and have slimmer profit margins WitsView also notes that a few panel makers still have not invested in a Gen-105 fab due to the potential financial burden Going forward, the generational divide in the manufacturing process will significantly influence the competition in the panel industry However, the ability to adjust product mix quickly will be key to the survival of panel makers in the future as they encounter oversupply resulting from the capacity expansion

Press Releases
TrendForce Reports First-Quarter Notebook Shipments Grew 6.1% Year on Year Against Seasonal Headwinds


Display / Consumer Electronics

Global notebook shipments totaled around 3781 million units for the first quarter of 2017, reports TrendForce This figure represents a 156% decline from prior quarter’s result but also a 61% year-on-year increase The first-quarter shipments were augmented by some unfulfilled demand left over from the previous quarter There were also major deal opportunities related to bidding for business notebook contracts and releases of new product models Furthermore, channel distributors also increased their stock-up of notebook products in anticipation of price hikes from brand vendors later on As a result, notebook shipments were higher than expected for the traditional off season TrendForce notebook analyst Anita Wang stated that the second-quarter shipment outlook remains positive as demand is still being generated by the arrival of new products and biddings for business notebook contracts Total volume for the second quarter is projected to grow 1~3% year on year Whether shipments will continue to grow year on year in the third quarter is uncertain As for this year’s fourth quarter, shipments will likely fall compared with the same period a year ago “North America had a substantial wave replacement demand from government agencies in last year’s fourth quarter,” said Wang, “Without similar demand contribution, the global notebook market will be a bit cooler during this year’s second half TrendForce projects that the 2017 global shipments will fall by 2~4% compared with preceding year’s shipments” HP posted a strong year-on-year growth of 189% HP was firmly secured in its position as the notebook shipment leader The brand gained from the additional demand in North America’s enterprise market and won sizable orders for business notebooks In addition to these two major factors, HP’s new notebook models that were released this March saw strong shipments to channel distributors HP’s first-quarter shipments came to 862 million units While this result amounted to a 179% drop compared with the prior quarter, it also translated to a significant year-on-year growth of 189% Lenovo has retained second place in the global shipment ranking for four consecutive quarters “Lenovo stepped up shipments from January to March of 2017 because this period was also the final quarter of its 2016 fiscal year,” Wang pointed out “Additionally, the brand’s strategy for Europe has been very effective” Lenovo shipped about 8 million units this first quarter, down by 164% from the preceding three-month period but up slightly by 16% from a year ago Dell has experienced steady demand from the enterprise clients and benefitted from the stable North American market The brand was third place in the first-quarter ranking with shipments fell by 187% against last year’s fourth quarter to 54 million units Apple has enjoyed brisk sales of MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and will update its 12-inch MacBook device this second quarter ASUS shipped 365 million units, a decrease of 17% compared with the prior quarter and a drop of 99% year on year ASUS was affected by the high costs of key components and the wide currency exchange fluctuations that also exacerbated production costs besides denting sales revenue “Sales prices of the older notebook models from ASUS do not correspond to their high production costs,” Wang noted “Furthermore, channel distributors are reporting that their inventories of the brand’s products are piling up ASUS therefore will want to maximize its profits and clear out inventories of older models before trying to push up shipments again” Apple shipped 34 million units of MacBook devices this first quarter and claimed fifth place in the ranking The latest generation of MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, which was released in last year’s fourth quarter, was well-received by consumers and contributed significantly to the overall MacBook shipments As a result, first-quarter MacBook shipments, while representing a 158% decline versus the prior quarter, also showed a year-on-year increase of 154% Furthermore, TrendForce estimates that MacBook shipments for this second quarter will grow by more than 10% compared with the first quarter This projection is attributed to Apple’s plan to update its 12-inch MacBook with a new processor and the possibility of promotional pricing for some older models The sixth-place Acer shipped 333 million units, a decrease of 127% from the prior quarter but a large year-on-year increase of 286% Acer’s result was mainly based on its aggressive expansion into the Chromebook market and on channel distributors having low inventories of the brand’s products Channel distributors have also been anticipating the steady increase of device production costs, so they expanded their stocking of notebooks from Acer during this first quarter Consequently, Acer was able to pull closer to the fifth-place Apple

Press Releases
TrendForce Reports First-Quarter Tablet Shipments Fell by 34.5% Versus Prior Quarter; Second-Quarter Result Depends on Sales of New iPad Devices


Display / Consumer Electronics

Market intelligence firm TrendForce reports global tablet shipments for the first quarter of 2017 totaled 3195 million units, representing a steep drop of 345% compared with the prior quarter and a year-on-year decline of 93% The shipment slump was attributed to the effect of the traditional slow season and the general decline in tablet market demand “After experiencing a significant retreat in shipments for the first quarter, the tablet market is now focusing on the sales performance of the economically priced 97-inch iPad that was released towards the end of this March,” said TrendForce notebook analyst Anita Wang “At US$329, this model is the lowest priced iPad device that Apple has ever offered The product is expected to generate sales in this second quarter as its shipments pick up” Wang also pointed out that most of the consumers’ attention was on the 97-inch iPad Microsoft was supposed to release its Surface Pro 5 in the first quarter, but that has been delayed Apple can expect turnaround in second-quarter iPad shipments with an estimated increase of more than 15%; Amazon to mass produce a new low-price device in second quarter as well Apple topped the tablet vendor ranking for the first quarter by holding on to 279% of the global market with 892 million units of iPad devices shipped Against the fourth quarter of 2016, iPad shipments fell by 318%, while year-on-year comparison also shows a drop of 13% Wang pointed out that while the new 97-inch iPad hit the market at the end of March, its sales will be helped by its price as tablet demand is still concentrated in the low-price segment Going into the second quarter, Wang expects the 97-inch model to contribute greatly to the iPad shipments At the same time, Apple will be releasing a new 105-inch iPad device These two products together will push iPad shipments into the positive territory TrendForce estimates that iPad shipments in the second quarter will go up by more than 15% compared with the first quarter’s figure” Samsung’s tablet shipments for the first quarter totaled 61 million units, down 235% from the prior quarter and down 57% from a year ago Samsung remained second place in the ranking and controlled 191% of the global market Samsung’s strategy going forward will be to keep rolling out new products featuring AMOLED display, such as the 97-inch Galaxy Tab S3 that hit the market towards the end of this March This device was also the only new tablet product that Samsung released in the first quarter Furthermore, Samsung is actively expanding into the commercial segment of the tablet market by offering 2-in-1 products running on Microsoft Windows and accompanied with stylus pens Huawei’s first-quarter tablet shipments came to 21 million units, which was a major decrease of 311% compared with the prior quarter’s shipments and placed the company in the third place of the vendor ranking Huawei’s tablet strategy for this year will be mainly about increasing profits by selling premium products However, focusing on the high-end segment will have an impact on shipments as high prices limit demand for premium products Also, Huawei will be competing against leading brands with more attractive offerings in the high-end segment TrendForce expects that Huawei’s tablet shipments for this entire year will contract compared with last year’s volume Lenovo took fourth place in the first-quarter ranking with 205 million units shipped This figure translates to a sharp decline of 438% compared with last year’s fourth quarter Wang noted that Lenovo starting this year is going to scale back the resources going into its tablet products “Besides the general decline in the tablet market, Lenovo also has to deal with losses incurred in its mobile phone business,” said Wang “Furthermore, Apple’s 97-inch iPad is a major challenge in the affordable tablet segment and will impact shipments and profitability of Lenovo and other competing brands” TrendForce anticipates year-on-year declines for Lenovo’s tablet shipments from the second to the fourth quarter of this year Amazon was fifth in the first-quarter ranking as its tablet shipments plummeted by 429% versus the prior quarter and came to around 2 million units Nonetheless, TrendForce believes Amazon has the best chance of posting annual growth among its competitors because the company’s strategy of selling inexpensive devices will likely succeed again Amazon will start mass production of a new low-priced 7-inch tablet later this second quarter and the product is expected to make a strong sales performance during the year-end holiday promotions

Press Releases
Global Tablet Shipments Fell by Just 6.6% Annually in 2016 as Brands Registered Above Expected Results, Says TrendForce


Display / Consumer Electronics

Market research firm TrendForce reports annual tablet shipments worldwide posted a decline for 2016, dropping 66% to 1574 million units However, total shipments from branded tablet vendors surpassed expectations because of the robust year-end holiday sales "Together, major tablet brands posted a marginal decline in their total shipments for 2016," said Anita Wang, TrendForce notebook analyst "Chief shipment contributors included Apple and Amazon The former enjoyed strong iPad sales in the fourth-quarter busy season, and the latter nearly doubled its annual shipments Other brands such as Huawei, Lenovo and Acer also expanded their shipments despite market headwinds" As for white-box (white brand) vendors, Wang pointed out that their shipments were impacted by limited panel supply "Due to profit considerations, panel makers scaled back the supply of tablet panels," noted Wang "As a result, global white-box tablet shipments for 2016 fell by more than 20% compared with the previous year" Going into 2017, demand for tablets will continue to be curtailed by the increasing consumer preference for large-size smartphones Furthermore, major brands and white-box vendors will be constrained by insufficient panel inventory as South Korean panel makers cut back on the production of LCD tablet panels According to TrendForce's projection, this year's global tablet shipments will come to 1478 million units, a drop of 61% from 2016 Apple posted better than expected iPad shipments last year; at least three new iPad models are lined up for 2017 Global iPad shipments for 2016 totaled 4255 million units, representing an annual decline of 141% Nonetheless, iPad shipments on the whole were above market expectations Strong demand in North America and exceptional results from year-end holiday sales sustained iPad shipments last year Wang pointed out that Apple has as many as three to four new iPad products lined up for 2017 "In addition to an economically priced 97-inch model that is ready for market release, Apple will also launch a new 129-inch model," said Wang "Furthermore, Apple will also introduce a new 105-inch iPad This will be a new size category for the device series" TrendForce estimates that this year's iPad shipments will fall by 6~8% annually to around 40 million units There are reports of a "Pro" version of iPad mini being planned If Apple decides to release such a product this year, the annual iPad shipments may stabilize and even register growth Samsung remains focused on promoting OLED tablets Samsung's tablet shipments for 2016 fell 194% annually to 27 million units "The general decline in tablet demand and the fierce market competition compel Samsung to offer products with higher specifications and unique features to in order to maintain profitability for its tablet business," said Wang "OLED displays therefore will continue to be an important part of Samsung's marketing strategy for this year" Samsung has scheduled two models, respectively sized 97 and 12 inches, to be released in the first quarter of 2017 Both models will feature an OLED screen Samsung's tablet shipments for this year are estimated to fall by 8~10% annually to around 25 million units The brand will be concentrating on developing the high-end segment of the tablet market with OLED products rather than growing its shipment volume Microsoft saw flat shipment growth last year and will face the challenge of supply bottleneck for panels this year Looking at other brands, Amazon posted a phenomenal 994% annual growth in its tablet shipments for 2016, totaling 11 million units Amazon benefited from its vast base of service subscribers and was very successful in its fourth-quarter promotional activities By nearly doubling its annual volume, Amazon climbed to the third place in the 2016 ranking of tablet brands In addition to the home market, Lenovo also targeted Europe, North America and Japan for shipment expansion last year Lenovo grew its global tablet shipments by 123% annually to 109 million units and took fourth place in the 2016 ranking Lenovo did particularly well in the fourth quarter as favorable currency exchange rates increased channel distributors' stock-up demand for its products Huawei last year committed substantial resources on its tablet products with a special focus on tablets with phone function and low-priced models The brand also expanded shipments in overseas markets by leveraging its smartphone channels and close relationships with telecom companies Huawei retained its fifth-place position in the annual tablet shipment ranking with a volume of 977 million units for 2016 Microsoft in the second half of 2016 oriented its marketing efforts for the Surface Pro series towards business customers and made a strong sales push in the year-end holiday season On the whole, Microsoft's shipments of the Surface Pro series totaled about 389 million last year, a decline of just 14% compared with the 2015 shipment figure for the device series The brand held on to its sixth-place position in the annual ranking Looking ahead, Microsoft has scheduled to launch Surface Pro 5 in the first half of 2017 However, Wang noted that shipments of the Surface Pro series are going to be affected by low panel supply through 2017 "The decision by the major panel supplier Samsung Display (SDC) to reduce its LCD tablet panel production, along with the limited Oxide TFT capacity, will work against Microsoft as it tries to secure panel supply for the Surface Pro series," said Wang TrendForce's current shipment estimate for the Surface Pro series in 2017 is less than 3 million units On the other hand, Microsoft also has a 10-inch device in the works If this product is released this year and does well in sales, then there is possibility for upward revisions in Microsoft's shipments of the Surface Pro series ASUS shipped 34 million tablets in 2016, representing a significant drop of 353% from 2015 ASUS currently wants to maintain profitability for its tablet business and is not interested in lowering prices to boost sales If the brand stays with this strategy during 2017, its annual shipments are expected to fall by 5~10%

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