Slim LED-Backlit Notebooks Rapidly Gain Market Share

Technology Forecast to Account for 31% of Notebook LCD Panels by Q410; Panel and Backlight Manufacturers Work Together to Advance Technology

Sort Date: 06102010
AUSTIN, TEXAS, June 10, 2010The market for slimmer notebook PCs with LED backlights (including 9.1 and larger mini-note PCs) is forecast to double its share, from 16% in Q110 to 31% in Q410. According to the latest DisplaySearch Quarterly LED Backlight Panel Shipment & Forecast Report, LED backlight penetration in notebook PCs grew rapidly from 36% in Q109 to 81.5% in Q110. Looking ahead, notebook PC panel makers are expecting to nearly eliminate CCFL-backlit notebooks from the notebook PC market by 2011.

Two types of notebook LED backlights exist: slim and wedge type. Both use different light guide plate (LGP) technology from traditional designs. The slim format reduces the panel thickness to 3.0-3.6 mm, while the wedge type is in the 5.2-5.8 mm range. Despite this, slim LED backlights for notebook PCs require higher quality and thinner components, such as LED array and LGP, compared to the wedge type.

There has been limited availability of slim LED backlights as a result of limited yield rates of the light guide plates, noted Anita Huang, DisplaySearch analyst for notebook PCs and panels in Taiwan. The $5 cost premium of slim type panels and the difficult assembly as a result of the fragility and thin form factor have presented challenges.

Huang added, Despite the higher cost and assembly issues, the slim type will continue to grow as a result of notebook manufacturer priorities for slimmer form factors over cost premiums. As the yield rate improves, and the economies of scale for the slim type grow, we expect that the slim type premium will be reduced.

Table 1. Notebook Backlight Penetration Percentage (on a unit basis)

Backlight Type











Slim Type











Wedge Type





















Note: Actual results up to Q110; data from Q210 based on panel makers shipment targets

Source: Quarterly LED Backlight Panel Shipment & Forecast Report

For 10.1"W, 11.6"W, and particularly 13.3"W panels, slim type LED backlights have been widely used for CULV notebook PC models. Huang added, The merits of slim type, such as the thinness and light weight, can be easily felt and seen in sizes smaller than 14. However, the CULV notebook PC sales have been disappointing for brands. To create a differentiated market segment, some panel makers are promoting a full product lineup of slim type notebook panels this year and are trying to shrink the panel price gap between slim and wedge as the slim volume increases.

Hidetoshi Himuro, DisplaySearch Director of IT Market Research in Japan, commented: The slim type backlight has advantages such as a shorter interface connection cable and easier electromagnetic interference (EMI) management. Meanwhile, the slim type panel design also benefits from the assembly locations for the wireless LAN antenna and other cables.

In Q110, only 6.6% of the LCD monitor panels shipped had LED backlights. In LCD TV, the penetration of LED backlights soared from 3.8% to 9.3% in Q110. LCD TV panel makers are aggressively targeting a 36% LED penetration in Q410, while currently there are still some challenges happening in the LED backlight supply chain.

The Quarterly LED Backlight Panel Shipment & Forecast Report provides an in depth look at large-area LED-backlit panel shipments for mini-notes, notebook PCs, LCD monitors, LCD TVs and more. The report also gives reliable forecasts, key insights on LED penetration rates, as well as shipment data by panel maker, size, application and resolution. The report also tracks the LED backlight penetration in LCD monitor panels and LCD TV panels.

Please contact Charles Camaroto at 1.888.436.7673 or 1.516.625.2452, e-mail or contact your regional DisplaySearch office in China, Japan, Korea or Taiwan for more information.

About DisplaySearch

Since 1996, DisplaySearch has been recognized as a leading global market research and consulting firm specializing in the display supply chain, as well as the emerging photovoltaic/solar cell industries. DisplaySearch provides trend information, forecasts and analyses developed by a global team of experienced analysts with extensive industry knowledge and resources. In collaboration with the NPD Group, its parent company, DisplaySearch uniquely offers a true end-to-end view of the display supply chain from materials and components to shipments of electronic devices with displays to sales of major consumer and commercial channels. For more information on DisplaySearch analysts, reports and industry events, visit us at Read our blog at and follow us on Twitter at @DisplaySearch.

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