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Mobile phone display shipments drop in Q1’14 as HD/FHD panels grow

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 9:17am
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The first quarter is usually the slow season for mobile phone panel shipments, and Q1’14 was no exception. The recently published Quarterly Mobile Phone Display Shipment and Forecast Report reveals that mobile phone FPD shipments declined in Q1’14 due to seasonality, after set production peaked for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, even as HD and FHD panels continue to grow.

Mobile Phone Display Shipments (Millions)

Source: Quarterly Mobile Phone Display Shipment and Forecast Report

Total mobile phone FPD shipments fell 3%, to 441 million in Q1’14 from 484 million in Q4’13, yet high resolution smartphone panel shipments remained strong. 720p (HD) mobile phone panel shipments increased 27%, to 67 million in Q1’14 from 53 million in Q4’13, while FHD panel shipments increased 32%, to 57 million in Q1’14 from 43 million in Q4’13. China continues to be an important influence on the mobile phone value chain, as smartphone brands such as Xiaomi, Huawei, and Oppo are strong and buying HD class TFT LCDs, helped by the expansion of 4G LTE services.

As shipments of HD and FHD panels increase, oxide and LTPS TFT LCD technologies are growing in 2014. LTPS TFT LCD increased to 98 million in Q1’14 from 72 million in Q1’13, up 36%, while oxide TFT LCD increased to nearly 8 million in Q1’14 from less than a million in Q1’13, driven mainly by Sharp.

With strong demand from China’s smartphone makers, it is worth monitoring the LTPS LCD supply/demand balance in 2H’14, and the competition between Apple iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, and Chinese smartphone brands. Samsung Display remained the #1 supplier of mobile phone FPDs, shipping 48 million panels in Q1’14, followed by BOE with 44.1 million and Sharp with 42 million. Also, Samsung Display continues to dominate smartphone AMOLED display shipments, but other panel makers are making investments for AMOLED display production.

The average mobile phone FPD resolution reached 250 ppi (pixels per inch) in Q1’14, led by  AMOLED displays with 375 ppi; LTPS TFT LCD average was 350 ppi, and oxide was 327 ppi.

Smartphones accounted for 73% of all mobile phone panels shipped in Q1’14, up from 68% in Q4’13.

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