Global LCD Shipments Down But Still Top 36 Million Units

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According to LCD researchers WitsView, global large-sized panel shipments in April reached 36.6 million units, dropping slightly by 1.6 per cent, but equivalent to an annual increase of 29.7 per cent, mainly contributed by the IT panel segment.

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Aggregated area shipments decreased by 2.3 per cent to 5.6 million square meters. On a yearly basis, this represented a growth of 37.8 per cent.

Among the 3 main applications, for the 30″ and above TVs, the shipment volume was relatively the same as last month. Thus, the aggregated TV shipments only fell slightly by 2.6 per cent to 2.8 million square meters. In the NB segment, they were relatively flat, up slightly by 0.4 per cent. Finally, monitor panels dropped by 2.3 per cent to 2 million square meters.

In April, TV panel shipments reached 7.8 million units, down by 2.9 per cent. With the market entering the second quarter, which is still considered a slow season for the consumer electronics industry, the TV end market sales are still weak. This can be observed from either a panel price or shipment performance standpoint.

In contrast to the weak demand of the 40″ and above panels, due to Sharp’s increased 32″ TV panel production from its G8 line in an attempt to further boost its market share, the 32″ instead saw a slight increase in April, taking up roughly 40 per cent of the aggregated TV shipments.

The aggregated monitor panel shipments in April reached 17.5 million units, down by 2.1 per cent. The widescreen panels accounted for more than 67 per cent, which mainly stemmed from stable shipments of the 16:9 entry-level 15.0″w and 15.6″w to emerging markets.

The two took up 4.2 per cent of the total monitor shipments. Meanwhile, the 17″ 4:3 format continued to drop, reaching a mere 16 per cent. As for the 19″W, the shipment level was roughly the same as last month, where their share was up slightly to 32.4 per cent.

WitsView forecasts the NB and monitor panel demand for 2008 to respectively reach 130 million and 197 million units. In the first quarter, IT panel shipments already accounted for 25 per cent of the volume, higher than original projections.

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