The e-reader and tablet wars are largely benefiting one company, for now – LG Display.
Thanks to a range of high profile contracts, with Amazon, Apple and Barnes & Noble all customers, LG Display has shot to the top of the media tablet display charts. It is winning by far over nearest rival Samsung, holding 51 percent of global unit shipments in the second quarter of 2011.
Other Apple contractors include Samsung – which is second with a 35 percent hsare – and Chimei Innolux which has a nine percent share. The rest is made up of other smaller vendors.
Senior manager of small and medium displays at IHS, which carried out the research, Vinita Jakhanwal says despite their very different offerings, Apple, Amazon and Barnes & Noble have one thing in common – that they depend on LG Display’s advanced in-plane switching (IPS) displays.
The company formerly known as Lucky Goldstar’s IPS has faster response speeds, wide viewing angles up to 179 degree and no after image, while consuming 30 percent less power overall than regular LCD displays.
LG quickly saw there was a buck to be made in media display tablets and has given more capacity than rivals. Being Apple’s main supplier hasn’t hurt either, so it’s no wonder it has trounced the competition in this segment.
LG’s IPS, though, will face challenges in the near future – primarily from Sharp, which has concocted an oxide material of indium, gallium and zinc called IGZO which supports electron mobility up to 30 times faster than amorphouse silicon. Production is expected to start this year.
There will be plenty of opportunity for companies like LG to profit. Media tablets are the main drivers for small and medium sized displays, while sales for the devices have remained attractive while other segments have stalled.
Shipments of media tablets are expected to keep a compound annual growth rate of 45 percent from 2011 up to 2015, according to IHS figures.