2012 smartphone displays forecast lowered, but display type matters

July 26, 2012 — DisplaySearch has lowered its 2012 mobile phone displays forecast from 1,917 million units to 1,729 million units, blaming insufficient capacity of semiconductor processes for new application processors, anticipation of the iPhone 5, the European financial disaster, saturation in developed markets, and other unexpected situations.

Smartphones have driven continuous small- to medium-size display growth, with low-temperature polysilicon (LTPS) thin-film transistor liquid crystal displays (TFT LCDs) and active-matrix organic light-emitting diode (AMOLED) displays preferred in premium models.

In Q1 2012, mobile phone display shipments totaled about 400 million units, missing NPD DisplaySearch’s forecast.

The traditional boom quarter — Q3 leading into holiday consumer sales — will be hard hit in 2012. NPD DisplaySearch modified its forecast down from 22% Q/Q growth to only 9% Q/Q growth because of the negative factors and poor shipment results seen early in 2012.

Comparing last quarter’s forecasts and actual shipment results by technology, NPD DisplaySearch found that AMOLED actually had higher growth, but other technologies showed declines.

  • NPD DisplaySearch originally estimated 23% Q/Q growth for AMOLED, but it reached 26% Q/Q.
  • LTPS TFT LCD was forecast to be up 7% Q/Q, but was actually down 2% Q/Q.
  • amorphous silicon (a-Si) TFT LCD declined 14% Q/Q.
  • CSTN, MSTN, and PMOLED are no longer mainstream as mobile phone displays, so their declines were less relevant to the results.

Access the full article in the DisplaySearch Monitor, http://www.displaysearch.com/cps/rde/xchg/displaysearch/hs.xsl/login_required_dsm.asp?page=my_dsm.asp

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