Photo Courtesy: Wellcome Images, Karen Neill, Liquid crystal visualized under polarized light.
Bad Q1 Good Q2 First quarter large-sized (greater than 10-inches) TFT LCD panel shipments were down 3% Q/Q and 18% Y/Y to 91.5 million units. Revenues fell too: down 17% Q/Q and 52% Y/Y to US$10 billion. This is according to DisplaySearch, an Austin, Texas-based market research firm. In a survey of LCD manufacturers there is optimism in the air for the second quarter: unit shipments are expected to grow 37% Q/Q to 125 million! Revenues will also grow at a significant 47% Q/Q clip! That sounds quite optimistic and it is because it’s a tabulation of LCD manufacturers that need to have a positive outlook after the last couple of terrible quarters.
Samsung On Top In terms of large-sized TFT LCD panel revenues, Samsung was number one in the first quarter with sales of US$2.9 billion and a 28.7% share. LG Display was number two with US$2.5 billion in revenues and 25.4% share. Chi Mei Optoelectronics (CMO) was number three with revenues of US$1.4 billion and a 14.4% share. For large-sized TFT LCD panel shipments, Samsung again was on top with LG Display and CMO following at number two and three respectively. LG Display captured the top spot for LCD panel shipments geared toward notebook PC and LCD TV applications while Samsung was tops in the LCD monitor category. This is a bit interesting as I am seeing Samsung and Sony enjoying top positions in LCD TV unit share in the US based on DisplayBlog’s Monthly Flat Panel Display Tracker. Of course LG Display not only supplies to LG but to Vizio, Funai (the guys who took over the Philips brand) and others.
AU Optronics It is interesting that AUO was not in the top three for either large-sized TFT LCD panel revenues or unit shipments in the first quarter. It does get mentioned in the press release that AUO was number three in notebook PC shipments and number two in mini-note (or netbook) shipments.
The first quarter was bad and it is behind us. The second quarter will most likely result in some improvements in both shipments and revenues. I wouldn’t think for a second that all LCD manufacturers will be able to hit their targets and thereby growing the overall shipments in the second quarter by 37% Q/Q to 125 million units. No sir. I would guess about 2/3 of that at around 25% Q/Q growth, which is still significant. Remember that second quarter LCD panel shipments for LCD TV applications end up being integrated into LCD TV sets that go up on shelves at Best Buy et al. in the third quarter.