Feature Article

July 30, 2012

DisplaySearch Lowers Mobile Phone Display Forecast for 2012

The rapid rise in the adoption of smartphones around the globe has accordingly fueled the market for mobile phone displays. Consequently, the phone display market has experienced continuous growth for the past few years, particularly based on specification upgrades in resolution and display size. The NPD DisplaySearch’s study shows that LTPS TFT LCD and AMOLED displays were particularly preferred in premium models.

However, the latest data shows that the market is now on the downward trend. And a number of factors are contributing to this decline. The study attributes this slow growth to insufficient capacity of semiconductor processes for new application processors, anticipation of the iPhone 5, the European financial disaster, saturation in developed markets, and other unexpected situations. Consequently, the research firm has lowered 2012 forecast to 1,729 million units in Q2’12 from the original forecast of 1,917 million units.

According to the research firm, the performance has been lower than expected. In reality, the actual Q1’12 mobile phone display shipment was only about 400 million units, lower than what NPD DisplaySearch estimated last quarter of around 407 million units. Although Q1 is not traditionally a hot sales season and usually has a natural quarterly decline, this 12 percent quarter-on-Quarter decline was about two percent higher than estimation in Q1’12, said NPD DisplaySearch.

Accordingly, NPD DisplaySearch also revised its forecast for the upcoming quarters. If there were no negative factors, Q3 would normally show results of a typical hot sales season. However, NPD DisplaySearch modified its forecast down from 22 percent Q/Q growth to only nine percent Q/Q growth because of the negative factors and poor shipment results in Q1’12.

Comparing last quarter's forecasts and actual shipment results by technology, NPD DisplaySearch found that AMOLED displays actually had higher growth, but other technologies showed declines. NPD DisplaySearch originally estimated 23 percent Q/Q growth for AMOLED, but it reached 26 percent Q/Q. LTPS TFT LCD was forecast to be up seven percent Q/Q, but was actually down two percent Q/Q, according to the market watcher.

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Edited by Brooke Neuman

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