Through to the end of April, panel makers are experiencing price declines of around 1% in most applications, IHS DisplaySearch data shows.
Larger notebook PC brands continue to adjust inventories in April; both panel and set inventories are slightly above normal, especially in Europe due to the weak euro. Set price increases are being considered by some brands to avoid losses from currency devaluations. IHS expects panel prices to continue downwards and there may be a sudden change in large area panel prices.
Many new smartphones products were introduced in April, which will help to improve demand in Q2. Premium models will benefit from in-cell touch and AMOLED on-cell touch, while 1920 x 1080 models will become much more price-aggressive to reach the mid-range.
In China, telecom operators are still the major smartphone distribution channel; subsidy reductions continue to impact demand in the country. This is expected to drive more panel output for the 4.5″+ category. Low-end display ASPs will remain more stable than 5″+ ASPs.
Tablet PC demand is recovering, helped by new models – however, demand remains lower than 2014. It ‘may’ be difficult to sell panels to China’s white-box market, says DisplaySearch, as there are high panel inventories that have not been used. Overall, tablet PC panel prices will remain flat for Chinese white-box companies, as they are very low already, but will trend downward slightly for brands.