The development of LED monitor and TV not only brought life to the maturing panel industry, but also became the key pillars to expand the emerging LED industry. The analysts of WitsView and LEDinside, the research divisions of TrendForce, took a positive attitude toward the long-term development of LED BLU products. Yet, in related product developments, the emphasis was also placed on the restrictions and unfavorable factors such as LED price, material shortage, panel supply, backlight structure, panel cost and end-market set price. Global LED monitor and TV penetration rates are forecast to account for 14.2% and 18.1% respectively this year.
An analyst of LEDinside indicated that sapphire substrate and MO source gas were insufficient so far this year, coupled by the explosive LED demand starting from 2Q10. Consequently, the insufficient supply of LED chip remained, which was also the critical factor to prevent its price from falling. Take mainstream for example, 5630 is currently applied as the backlight sources of monitors and TVs, and the ASP merely declined by 5~10% since the beginning of this year. At this moment, LED light source still accounted for 40% of LED monitor and TV BLU cost. Under the limited LED price cut, BLU material cost remained difficult to reduce.
Eric Chiou, the research director of WitsView, said that the market was still surrounded by the imbalance supply of LGP. Aside from some brand vendors and major panel makers, some other manufacturers that desired to enter LED segment facing the difficulties to get hold of LGPs. Accordingly, LGP shortage created an oligopoly within LED panel market this year, and struggled to meet the huge demand. Since the sources were rare, panel makers were reluctant to cut prices.
The current LED TV and monitor panel price remain relatively high, so a huge price-cut sales promotion of LED TV is unlikely to occur at the year-end peak season, says WitsView. In addition, LCD TV has reached high penetration rate. Consumers purchase new LCD TVs and monitors usually when the original ones need to be replaced; thus, the urgency to buy a new one is not as much as the first purchase. Once the LED TV price appeal is limited, most consumers may postpone the purchase which will directly affect the actual sales performance in LED TV and monitor this year.
Recently, a Taiwan panel maker’s monthly shipment ratios of LED TV and monitor panel have exceeded 15% and 20% respectively; furthermore, LED monitor BLU shipment of top-tier BLU makers were close to 30% of all. Nevertheless, 1H10 CCFL panel shipment was relatively high; inventory closeout was thereby the top priority among downstream SIs, brand vendors and retail channels. Therefore, even if the shipment ratios of LED panel and BLU were surging, it took a great amount of time to increase the distribution rate in retail markets.
Lastly, the above-listed restrictions including prices, designs, costs and supplies, are estimated to be ruled out one by one in a year. Looking into 2011, there are no evident limitations in LED product development except for MMA supply, the raw material of LGP. Thus, according to WitsView, LED TV and monitor penetration rates are forecast to reach 44.8% and 38.2% individually amid the positive perspective for 2011.