LCD TV Panels Surged in Q4 '07 Surged 70% Year-on-Year

Results of DisplaySearch's large-area TFT LCD survey for the fourth quarter of 2007, as reported in its Quarterly Large-Area TFT LCD Shipment Report, indicate shipments of TV panels surged 18% over Q3 '07 and 70% year-to-year to 27.9 million units.

This brings the annual total to 86.0 million TV panels, a 58% increase over 2006. On a display-area basis, 2007 shipments of LCD TV panels grew 91% over 2006 as the average TV panel size increased 10%. The value of these shipments rose to $11.4 million in Q4 '07. For the year, LCD TV panel sales totalled US$33.5 million, up US$11 million over 2006.

"Historically, slow capacity expansion and tight supply of large panels supported supplier prices more than usual in 2007. For example, the average unit price of LCD TV panels fell only 6% from 2006, and the average area price fell only 22%. DisplaySearch expects supply to remain relatively tight through 1H'08, helping suppliers sustain good margins", noted David Barnes, DisplaySearch vice president of strategic analysis.

DisplaySearch also reported strong consumer demand for 1080p LCD TV products throughout 2007 contributed to a strong year overall, despite sluggish consumer take-up in the final weeks of 2007. Demand for notebook PC displays was also strong in 2007.

Some panels designed for PC monitor applications found their way into the LCD TV market, so annual growth of 31% for monitor panels overstates the actual demand for desktop displays. DisplaySearch expects buyers will prefer notebook PC products over desktop PC products for several years to come. Demand for flat-screen TV and portable PC products worldwide drove total large-area TFT LCD panel (10 inches or larger) shipment growth of 4% Q/Q and 40% Y/Y in Q4 '07. Total large-area LCD shipments rose 40% in 2007.

Samsung Electronics captured the greatest share of TV panel revenues with sales of $8.6 billion in 2007, according to DisplaySearch findings. This 26% revenue share and was followed by LG.Philips LCD with a 22% sales share of TV panels. AU Optronics increased its TV panel sales 126% Y/Y in Q4 '07. For the year, AU Optronics had a 19% sales share.

These three suppliers shipped 80% of all notebook PC panels in 2007, which DisplaySearch believes improved their operating performance.