TV, Mobile and Automotive Drive Area Demand Growth

By Tom Allen
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Significant increases in flat-panel display (FPD) area demand are being driven by steadily rising TV, smartphone, mobile and PC and automotive displays, according to IHS.

The global FPD industry was focused on unit growth in the past, but this trend is now shifting to area demand. Display panel shipments for all FPD applications rose 9% YoY in 2014, to reach 168.9 million m². The CAGR for total FPD area demand between 2012 and 2020 is forecast to reach 5%, ending the period at 223.6 million m².

The major driving forces behind the rising area demand, according to IHS’s director of display research, Yoshio Tamura, were consumer demand for

  • larger LCD TVs
  • 5″+ smartphones
  • larger automotive display screens
  • larger tablet PCs.

Consumers now have more chance to trade up to larger TVs, given the new sizes launched by LCD and OLED panel makers. Additionally, larger smartphone screens have mainly been triggered by rising resolution requirements; longer battery lives; and changes in consumer behaviour, especially in emerging markets.

In mobile PCs, brands have begun to launch larger-screen products. Displays are growing from 10″ to 12.9″ in 2015, thanks to new operating systems and convertible form factors.

IHS FPD Area Demand Growth RateIHS’s reasons for area demand growth include:

  • LCD TV – UltraHD; 8k; ultra-slim types; slim bezels; higher picture quality due to wider colour gamut and dynamic contrast ratio; new sizes from panel makers; new smart TV platforms.
  • Smartphone – higher resolutions; slim and bezelless designs; abundant ecosystem; component integration.
  • Mobile PC – higher resolutions; better screen performance due to OLED; entry into the commercial and educational markets.
  • Automotive – better UI and touch performance; growing numbers of hybrid and electric cars with larger , better screens; full dashboard digitisation; demand for larger central information displays; and the introduction of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) for smart cars.

Despite the rising demand, IHS expects a fall in annual area demand growth for major FPD applications. It will reach 5% this year, down from 2014’s 9%. The slowdown will be caused by the maturity of some applications, and a slowing trend towards larger LCD TVs and smart handheld products.