Shipments of panels used in media tablets more than doubled in the first quarter of 2013 as consumer demand for low-priced products in the 7- to 8-in. range continues to rise, according to IHS. The information and analytics provider notes that global shipments of capacitive touchscreen displays for media tablets totaled 45.2 million in the first quarter (see the figure).
This growth represents a 111.9% increase over the same period in the previous year and more than doubles the 2012 first quarter total of 21.3 million. Shipments declined by 13% from the fourth quarter of 2012 into the first quarter of 2013, but that seasonal decline is typical for electronics, IHS says.
“These tablets are inexpensive, with pricing at $199, making them popular among consumers. With the level of competition increasing in both the tablet and panel markets, pricing is expected to continue to decline, boosting shipments of displays and end products in this size range,” said Duke Yi, senior manager for display components and materials at IHS.
As the number of panel makers increases, the average selling price of tablet PC touch-panel modules is rapidly falling. In the first quarter of 2013, average pricing for 7.0-in. tablet touch panels fell to $15.60, down 16% from $18.60 in the first quarter of 2012. Pricing for 7.0-in. touch panels dropped by 7.5% from $15.60 in the fourth quarter, the largest sequential percentage decrease of any size.
At the end of the first quarter of 2013, display supplier TPK commanded the tablet touchscreen market with a 29% share because of its strong client list, which includes Apple, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Microsoft, and Asus, including the Nexus 7. This roster vaulted the company to the lead in the tablet touch-panel market in terms of unit shipments. Iljin Display, GIS, Wintek, and O-Film rounded out the top five suppliers.