Market soothsaying outfit DisplaySearch claims that 665 million large-area TFT LCD panels were shipped worldwide last year. This was a 26 percent increase over crisis-stricken 2009, in which 527 large-area panels left factories. Strongest growth driver was what DisplaySearch calls mini-note/ slate PCs, that is, tablets, netbooks and subnotebooks. Demand in this market area grew 64 percent year over year, rising from 33 to 54 million shipped panels.
However, the tablet and netbook market is still rather small when compared to monitors, notebooks and tellies. It seems 36 percent more telly panels departed home, bringing the number from 163 million in 2009 to 221 million last year. Notebook panel shipments jumped 26 percent, whereas demand for monitors grew a pale 12 percent, as the latter market is rather mature.
Prices dropped after the second quarter, as stock levels were adjusted across the supply chain. Panel makers cut capacity utilisation in the third quarter, putting 162 million units in trucks, after 170 million in the second quarter. However, things brightened up again the closer it got to christmas and shipments rose to 176 million units in the fourth quarter.
LG Display was head of the gang and top of the pops with a 25.9 percent market share, Samsung came in second place grabbing 22.9 percent of the cake. AU Optronics had 16.8 percent with no whipped cream, whilst Chimei Innolux (sans CMO) had 16.5 percent, a few crumbs less. Samsung led in terms of revenue, LG Display in terms of shipments.