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Panel makers to see mixed results in 2022

Panel makers with larger proportions of output for consumer-use or standard-specification applications in large-volume shipments will be more affected by fluctuations in operating environment in 2022, according to Paul Peng, chairman and CEO of AU Optronics (AUO).

AUO has reduced the proportion for such applications, focusing more on high value-added customized panels shipped in small volumes and allowing the company to make dynamic adjustments to cope with changes in the market, Peng said.

Global demand for non-consumer-use LCD panels, including business, retail, public transportation, infrastructure and medical/industrial applications, continues to be robust, Peng noted, adding that AUO produces many models of such panels.

However, global demand for IT panels used in consumer notebooks and monitors has now weakened mainly due to shrinking demand for consumer IT products following the easing of the pandemic, Peng indicated.

Prices for LCD TV panels have been dropping since July 2021, but TV sales during this year's Double 11 online shopping festival were significantly better than expected, signaling rebounding global demand for TVs, Peng said, adding global demand for TV panels has bottomed out and begun to pick up.

Global demand for LCD TVs in 2022 will remain unchanged from 2021, but total display area of panels will increase due to a larger average size of TVs, Peng indicated, adding that AUO is optimistic about global demand for LCD TV panels in 2022.

The panel industry will benefit from fast growing development of electric vehicles (EVs), as more automotive displays are adopted for EVs than for fuel-powered cars and EV-use displays are larger with higher specifications, especially those in smart cockpits, Peng indicated.