“Although uncertainties about the global economy grew in the second half of 2018, panel purchasing for the year-end hot season was better than expected,” said Ricky Park, director of display research at IHS Markit. “Lower prices fed a sharp increase in panel demand for TVs, smartphones and desktop monitors.”
Demand for OLED TV panels increased by 65.6%, year over year, reaching 3 million square meters in 2018. LCD TV panel demand rose 10.7% to 154 million square meters during the same period. “Growing popularity of 60-inch and larger TV panels contributed to the growth in overall TV panel area demand,” Park said.
Panel demand for desktop monitors increased by 11.9% in 2018, led by the US market. “As the gaming market has grown, a preference for larger monitors also raised demand,” Park said. Demand for 25-inch and larger monitor panels jumped 39% in 2018 compared to a year ago.
As the smartphone market saturated, smartphone panel demand declined to 1.6 billion units in 2018 from 1.7 billion units in 2017. However, in terms of area, demand grew 6.1% in 2018, as a large number of smartphones applied full-screen panels.
IHS Markit forecasts that the flat panel area demand for 2019, will grow 5.1%, slower than it did in 2018.