The Quarterly Large Area TFT LCD Shipment Report revealed that shipments of TFT LCD panels over 9.1 inches fell to 163 million units in the third quarter of this year, which was a four percent drop on the previous quarter and a seven percent drop on the same period last year.
Revenue was also down on the last quarter by seven percent, raking in $21.3 billion. This was an increase on the same quarter last year, however, of a similar seven percent.
The LED panel market is going strong, however, increasing market penetration across the board. LED-backlit monitors accounted for 21 percent of the market, while LCD TVs accounted for 26 percent. Notebook PCs predominantly employ LED backlights, taking 93 percent of the market, while the tablet PC market enjoys a 100 percent market penetration for LED panels.
“The TFT LCD industry experienced an oversupply in Q3’10, and as a result, shipments declined, panel prices fell and suppliers reduced capacity utilization rates due to the lack of orders and inventory reduction. However, even as overall shipments decline, LED-backlit panel shipments are still growing, continuing the industry’s irreversible trend toward LED,” said David Hsieh, Vice President of the Greater China Market at DisplaySearch.
The fourth quarter outlook is not a whole lot better, with a very modest three percent increase in shipments expected, which is rather paltry for the lead-up to Christmas, traditionally one of the peak times for panel sales.