Display manufacturers transition tablet panel fab to Gen-6, Gen-8 facilities

May 3, 2012 — Tablet PC shipments are expected to grow from 81.6 million units in 2011 to 424.9 million units by 2017, according to NPD DisplaySearch, overtaking notebook PCs. This rapid growth comes with diversification, in hardware like displays and in software like operating systems (OS).

Component manufacturing capacity is being increased to meet this new market demand. Many display manufacturers are transitioning tablet panel production to larger plants, including Gen 6 and Gen 8, which will lead to greater capacity for tablet displays, as well as lower prices. In addition, the share of AMOLED displays in tablets is forecast to increase from 3% in 2012 to 30% by 2017.

Also read: Media tablets join top 5 semiconductor end-markets in 2012

Figure. Worldwide tablet PC emerging and mature market shipment forecast. SOURCE: Q1 2012 NPD DisplaySearch Tablet Quarterly report.


The young market has been “dominated” by Apple’s iPad and similarly configured tablets from competitors, said Richard Shim, NPD DisplaySearch senior analyst.

NPD DisplaySearch expects retailers, brands, and consumers to experiment with emerging tablet opportunities. Increased investments in the tablet supply chain — amidst a lull in the growth of other device categories — will lead to more opportunities for new technologies to challenge incumbents. A key area where there is room for differentiation is operating systems, with Android taking share from iOS. Windows RT will also grow, but from a very small base.

NPD DisplaySearch’s Tablet Quarterly report tracks quarterly changes in tablet PC products and strategies, and forecasts the impact of those changes on the market. It covers the changing landscape of screen sizes, features that are expected to be included and excluded in future tablets, and operating systems. NPD DisplaySearch is a global market research and consulting firm specializing in the display supply chain, as well as the emerging photovoltaic/solar cell industries. Internet: http://www.displaysearch.com/.

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