Monitor Promotions Continue, but TV Panels Remain Steady

IHS DisplaySearch has released its pricing data for large display panels at the end of May.

Panel vendors promoted all sizes of LCD monitor panels with aggressive prices, in order to sustain volume on weak demand. Shipments have fallen in recent months – to a record low in April. Several brands are negotiating concessional deals for this month and Q3, to avoid supply issues if panel capacity is taken up by large and UltraHD TVs. DisplaySearch predicts a fall of at least $1 in monitor panel prices this month.

Most TV makers have reported slowing demand. However, panel makers have ‘less’ intention to reduce TV panel prices in early June. The 32″ size is an exception, as there are few large brands still demanding these panels.

DisplaySearch says that there was a growing gap between panel purchasing quantities and TV set shipments in Q1’15, among brands still purchasing panels. Based on these companies’ aggressive purchasing volumes and forecasts, it is assumed that they will need to weight seasonality heavily towards the second half of the year.

Chinese TV brands remain cautious about production; they have cut panel demand by about 10% QoQ in Q2’15. Some panel vendors plan to offer Chinese set makers price protection on certain sizes. Several Chinese makers plan to drop 32″ panel demand by between 20% and 25% in Q2.

Spot deals appeared in the notebook panel market, except on custom models. Brands pushed down mainstream panel prices by $1 or more. DisplaySearch expects weak demand to continue to drive prices downwards in June. Big notebook PC brands are adjusting inventory this month, and set inventories are still higher than normal – especially in Europe and emerging markets.

Intel has delayed the launch of its Skylake platform, and Windows 10 is not expected to boost notebook demand significantly. This is because many consumers already refreshed notebooks last year, after Windows XP support ended.