PC panel prices rise because of high demand

Panel prices are rising because of a huge demand for PC panels, analysts have said.

According to Goksen Sertler, an analyst at Meko, panel makers are also jumping on the back of this and trying to make as much profit as they can.

The comments come as AU Optronics (AUO) said that PC panel prices would rise by five and six percent this quarter compared to the last. It fingered the improving commercial notebook computer demand in the US and most Asian markets such as China for the rise.

However, the forecast was slightly lower than that proffered by the company back in April when at the time it said we’d see a five to eight percent rise around this time.

According to the Taipei Times, PC panel prices rebounded 3.7 percent to $55 per unit from last quarter compared to the $53 in the previous quarter.

However, touch panels, commonly used in tablets are continuing to rise, with AUO claiming about 10 percent to 15 percent of its notebook panels are equipped with touch sensors. Instead of this being good news however, the company claims that this has caused “supply constraints”.

However, Ms Sertler said there was more to it than a demand for these panels. She told TechEye: “The reason why panel price rise is because there is a huge demand for PCpanels. Therefore panel makers are trying to make some profit out of this.

“The second reason is some product improvements, such as better resolution and
multi touch. If we look back to the end of 2010, there was only Apple with its iPad, now we can count 16 brands that have their tablets or Ereaders launched to the market already.

“More brands and more variety of models keep coming.  Consumers are also eager to buy tablets, e-books. Consumer want the content while they are mobile, this is what drives the demand.”

She said that recent research showed  the number of tablet users jumped from two percent to five percent since December 2010 in the UK.

“A tablet on its own with no web access is not much use. Content side from application providers also keeps coming so this keeps the demand alive,” she added.

“However once these early adaptors phase is finished, there will be a chasm to pass to the early majority stage (according to the theory of technology life cycle). when we come to that chasm point, brands will be left with lots of stock.

“Therefore we do suggest tablet and ereader makers to be careful about their stock level.”