Fiercely competitive Tablet market will alter the panel supply chain in 2013, due to the increased tablet adoption, Apple's strong dominance, and the emergence of new players like Google and Microsoft, according to market research firm NPD Displaysearch.
Since the financial crisis, various industries suffer weak development situation. However, there is no denying smartphone and Tablet PC has always maintained the rapid growth. It is expected to by 2017 worldwide tablets will ship 330 million units, which attracts more vendors into the tablet field.
"With the changes taking place in the mobile PC segment, existing supply chain relationships could be disrupted due to competitive conflicts," noted Jeff Lin, Value Chain Analyst at NPD DisplaySearch. "For example, Samsung Display plans to improve its mobile PC customer portfolio by reducing its share in Apple and increasing support to captive brands and other external customers, like Amazon and Barnes & Noble."
In addition, given to the growing fierce patent lawsuit between Apple and Samsung, Apple is gradually decreasing rely on Samsung, and gives more orders to another South Korea panel manufacturer –LG Electronics, which is said to ship one third mobile PC panel to Apple; adding that Apple dominate more than 80% tablet market, so the AUO, Century in China, Innolux in Taiwan, as well as Panasonic LCD in Japan will also benefit from Apple's strong demand for panel.
Lin also added, "The shift to touch notebooks and ultra-slim devices will be key areas of focus for Apple's mobile PC competitors in 2013. While capturing a larger portion of these market segments will be challenging, competitors will require solid commitments from their supply chain vendors (panel suppliers and OEMs) to ensure capacity and fool-proof, cost-down solutions. For example, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, and Acer have slashed prices on their ultra-slim notebooks in the hopes of combating the competition."
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