Despite the inventory adjustment caused by LCD TV brands reducing their panel orders in the first quarter (Q1) of 2015, the strong demand for leading TV brands to fulfill their panel facilitation plans — combined with a strong cross-marketing push by TV panel makers — helped LCD TV panel shipments reach a record monthly high in March 2015. According to the latest Monthly TFT LCD Shipment Databasefrom IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS), a global source of critical information and insight, LCD TV panel shipments from global panel makers reached 23.9 million in March 2015, growing 20 percent month over month and 11 percent year over year.
Panel shipments declined seasonally in Q1 of this year, because most LCD TV modules are manufactured in China and the Chinese New Year holidays in February meant fewer working days in LCD cell fabs in Asia and LCD module lines in China. Meanwhile, as the LCD TV panel supply-demand balance shifted from tightness to oversupply, TV makers have started to reduce orders, especially for older models. However, positive year-over-year growth is still expected, especially since there was such a strong rebound for LCD TV panel shipments in March.
“Although the LCD TV panel demand has shown signs of slowing after the holidays, leading TV brands are preparing their new models for launch, so orders are not diminished,” said Yoonsung Chung, director of large area display research for IHS. “Meanwhile, panel makers are aggressively introducing 4K resolution, wide color gamut, ultra-slim bezels and other new features, to improve panel shipment growth”
While LCD TV panel shipments reached 253 million units in 2014, panel makers are aggressively targeting 261 million units this year. “Demand will slow, beginning in the second quarter of 2015, and panel prices are already starting to fall, so TV panel shipments may face some growth challenges in the coming months,” Chung said.
LCD shipment growth also varied by size in March, representing a shift in LCD TV size trends. The 23.6-inch display, which is primarily available in emerging regions, shipped a record 2.1 million units. Other display sizes setting records last month were 40-inch displays (3.3 million), 43-inch displays (1.2 million), 49-inch displays (0.9 million), and 65-inch displays (0.4 million).
Led by Samsung Display and LG Display, 4K LCD TV panel shipments grew from 1.7 million in February to a record-setting 2.6 million units in March 2015. Red-green-blue-white (RGBW) pixel-layout technology, which can help reduce power consumption, is expected to rise rapidly in 2015 as the industry’s acceptance of this technology has gradually extended from the Chinese market to the global market.
The Monthly TFT LCD Shipment Database provides the latest panel shipment numbers, surveyed from all large-area panel makers.