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LCD panel makers shifting more capacity for IT applications

Some panel makers have begun shifting more of their capacity to produce display products for IT applications instead of handset ones, as handset panel prices have been falling in the face of the dwindling demand for smartphone in the end-market, according to industry sources.

According to Sigmaintell Consulting, quotes for 6.52-inch a-Si cell panel prices will fall to US$4.40 in July from the previous US$4.60 due to a slowdown in order pull-ins from the handset makers.

Meanwhile, CINNO Research has also forecast that the prices of 6.2x-inch a-Si panels and 6.5x-inch a-Si and LTPS panels will all edge down US$0.10 in July.

The sources noted that Taiwan-based small- to medium-size panel makers Giantplus Technology and HannStar Display both suffered a setback in revenues in June due to falling panel demand and weakening panel prices.

Other major players, including AU Optronics (AUO), Innolux and Century Technology (Shenzhen), are also allocating more production capacity for IT, industrial control and automotive applications to cope with changing market demand, added the sources.

China-based panel maker Tianma Microelectronics reportedly will begin purchasing a-Si-based panel modules from the 8.5G lines of fellow company Chongqing HKC to enhance its competitiveness by enriching its product offerings in 2022, noted the sources.

Meanwhile, the sources expect quotes for rigid AMOLED handset panels to remain at higher levels in July-August due in part to the tight supply of display driver ICs (DDIs). They noted that Samsung Display hiked the prices of rigid AMOLED panel prices by US$1 in June.

According to the latest forecast of Digitimes Research, global smartphone shipments will reach 1.32 billion units in 2021, increasing 6.4% from a year earlier.