China skews flat panel display market

Demand from the Chinese market will dramatically shift the balance of shipments over the next few years for flat panel displays of all types.

That’s according to a report from DisplaySearch, which said that while the market had reacted to demand from North America and Europe, most shipments happened in the second half of the year.

But the same type of seasonal buying isn’t true for the Chinese market, which continues to suck in displays of all types, whether for notebook PCs, TVs, monitors, mobile phones, cameras and GPS devices.

David Hsieh, VP of DisplaySearch, said: “China is changing because of the world, the world is also changing because of China.”

He said: “China’s influence on the FPD industry is changing the FPD cycle and reshaping the FPD supply chain, with increasing panel and product manufacturing shifting to China—creating fierce competition among Japan, Korea and Taiwanese panel suppliers to establish fabs. Together with different characteristics of FPD buying and consumer behavior, this shift makes China a land that is flooded with opportunities and risks.”

The peak shopping seasons in China like the New Year and the Golden Week in May are in the first half of the calendar year. That’s forcing brands and OEMs to pursue higher allocation in the first half to build inventories.

It also means that brands are concentrating new models launched in the first half of the year – that’s true for TV, PC and consumer electronics brands.

FPD demand – chart courtesy of DisplaySearch

Category 1H/2H 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
All flat panel displays 1H 45% 51% 44% 46% 46% 47% 47%
2H 55% 49% 56% 54% 54% 53% 53%
Large Area displays 1H 44% 52% 42% 47% 47% 47% 47%
2H 56% 48% 58% 53% 53% 53% 53%
Small/Medium displays 1H 45% 50% 44% 46% 46% 47% 47%
2H 55% 50% 56% 54% 54% 53% 53%
All TFT LCDs 1H 42% 49% 43% 46% 46% 46% 46%
2H 58% 51% 57% 54% 54% 54% 54%