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AUO of Taiwan Eclipses Local Innolux to be World's No. 2 Supplier of LCD Monitor Panels in 2015: WitsView

Feb 23, 2016 | By Quincy Liang

Worldwide shipments of liquid crystal display (LCD) monitor panels in 2015 fell 11 percent year on year (YoY) to 142.2 million units, with that of notebook PC panels also down 8 percent from 2014 to 176.1 million units, according to the latest report from WitsView, a division of TrendForce. 

In general, WitsView said, the information technology (IT)-application market for LCD panels (monitors and notebooks) was quite sluggish last year, with also a lack of interesting products that could stimulate replacement purchases.

Monitor Panels
WitsView said that in-plane switching (IPS) technology stood out as one of the few specification features that monitor vendors were able to use to differentiate their products during the slump in 2015.

Top-5 Monitor Panel Suppliers' 2014-2015 Worldwide by Shipments (Source: WitsView).Top-5 Monitor Panel Suppliers' 2014-2015 Worldwide by Shipments (Source: WitsView).

South Korea's LG Display (LGD), which has a technological edge in manufacturing IPS panels, shipped 41.5 million units of monitor panels in 2015, holding on to almost 30 percent of the global market. By maintaining a large shipment lead over the Taiwanese panel makers, LGD ranked as the top supplier of monitor panels for the year.

Taiwan's AU Optronics (AUO) beat its local rival Innolux to become the No. 2 supplier of monitor panels in 2015 by shipping about 26 million units. AUO's success was attributed to having products for every segment of the monitor market, meeting the demand for all high-, medium- and low-end panels from customers.

Last year, Innolux encountered difficulties in its efforts to promote monitor panels featuring vertical alignment (VA) technology. Taiwanese panel makers also faced strong competition from Chinese rivals in their main product categories. Hence, Innolux's monitor panel shipments for 2015 plummeted 28 percent YoY to just 25.5 million units, making the company the No. 3 in the shipment ranking.

BOE Technology (BOE) of China was the No. 4 in monitor panel shipments last year with 20.1 million units shipped. The Chinese panel supplier's strategy for the monitor-panel product mix reflected an emphasis on the mainstream size segments, such as the 18.5-and 21.5-inch.

In conjunction with Samsung Display Corp. (SDC) of South Korea's decision to move toward the high-end market, the Korean panel maker ended up in the fifth place with 19.8 million units shipped.

WitsView pointed out that notebook-panel shipments in 2015 depended mainly on the negotiations between panel makers and notebook vendors, since the sizes in notebook applications vary relatively less than those of monitor applications.

Top-5 Notebook Panel Suppliers' 2014-2015 Worldwide by Shipments(source: WitsView).Top-5 Notebook Panel Suppliers' 2014-2015 Worldwide by Shipments(source: WitsView).

LGD's notebook panel shipments in 2015 reached 46.6 million units, accounting for 26.5 percent of the global market. By strengthening its cooperation ties with U.S. notebook vendors, LGD retained its world's No. 1 notebook-panel supplier title again.

Innolux's notebook-panel shipments were weak last year because the global notebook panel market suffered rising inventories in the mainstream-size categories. Though the panel maker kept its second-place position in the ranking, its shipments fell 17 percent YoY to just 41.1 million units. Among the top-five suppliers of such product, Innolux saw the largest shipment decline in 2015.

AUO kept up with the trend towards HD displays in the notebook market and quickly shifted to producing Full HD (FHD) notebook panels. It has also remained ahead of its competitors in the development of on-cell touch panel (OTP) technology. The Taiwanese panel maker therefore ranked third for 2015 with 36.7 million units.

By contrast, SDC's strategy in this application market was more cautious. SDC's notebook panel shipments for 2015 stood at 30.3 million units. The relatively average performance put the South Korean panel maker in the fourth place of the ranking.

With its expanded capacity, BOE began aggressively courting American notebook clients in the second half of 2015. Though BOE remained in the fifth place in the ranking, it was the only supplier among the top-five that saw growth in the downbeat market environment. The Chinese panel maker shipped 15 million units of notebook panels in total, up 9 percent from 2014.

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