Tablet shipments grew 19.7% to hit a historical high of 22.5 million in September as vendors prepared to ship Apple’s updated iPad models in the fourth quarter, according to WitsView, a division of the Taiwan-based market intelligence firm TrendForce. Additionally, 21.5 million LCD TV panels were shipped in September, a 1.4% decrease on month. Monitor panel shipments were the same as in August at 13.36 million units. Notebook panel shipments rose 6.7% on a monthly basis to 17.84 million on the back of rising demand for low-priced notebooks and the receding popularity of tablets.
Tablet popularity has fallen this year, in part due to rising demand for low-priced notebooks, said Winnie Chen, a research manager at WitsView. But tablet panel shipments still managed to grow in September because Apple launched the iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini3, Chen said, noting that that month’s tablet panel shipments are the highest for the year so far. The two main Korean vendors Samsung and LG have a combined shipment growth rate of 60% for the 9.7” and over 50% growth rate for the 7.9”. While the iPad’s share of overall tablet shipments has decreased, it still is a key driver of panel demand, which is expected to grow 14% in October, Chen added.
LCD TV panel shipments dropped to 21.5 million in September, which is just a slight decrease from August. Bidding from the Mexican government for LCD TVs concluded, and monthly shipments of the 23.6” panel dropped 15%. During China’s National Day holiday, TV sales totaled 2.62 million units, a decrease of 2.6% on year. However, this mediocre sales number, which is not at all surprising, will not impact TV panels significantly. TrendForce forecasts October shipments to fall just 1%. Compared to the weak growth situation for IT panels, the overall demand for the TV panels is relatively strong. Additionally, the peak season for many electronics products is just around the corner and panel shipments are expected to pick up.