SEOUL, Jan. 11 (Korea Bizwire) – Global panel makers are poised to ramp up their production of curved models this year in an effort to find a new source of profit amid a slowing global TV market, industry sources said Monday.
According to data compiled by China-based market tracker Sigmaintell, global shipments of curved liquid crystal display (LCD) TVs are expected to reach 12.5 million units in 2016, up sharply from the 6.1 million units last year.
In 2015, Samsung Display Co. was the largest vendor of curved display TVS with shipments of 4.9 million units, followed by Taiwan-based AU Optronics with 1.2 million units. LG Display Co., Samsung’s South Korean rival, currently does not produce curved panels for LCD TVs.
In contrast, overall sales of TV panels fell 5.5 percent on-quarter to reach 66.23 million units in the October-December period of 2015, marking a rare occasion for the figure to drop at the year-end shopping season, a separate data compiled by IHS Inc. showed.
The figure is expected to continue its downward trend in the first quarter to reach 63.2 million units.
Industry said the slowdown in the global TV panel market came amid falling demand and rising inventory.
Along with the rise of Chinese display firms, the price of a 32-inch full-HD TV panel reached US$64 at end-2015, plunging from $102 posted at the beginning of last year. That of 55-inch models also shed 25 percent over the cited period to reach $198.
Industry watchers said that such a slowdown in the global TV industry will induce panel makers to beef up profitability, eventually to expand production of high-return curved models.
The trend will also be bolstered by the influx of Chinese players rolling out smaller and more affordable curved TVs, they added.