Taipei, March 17 (CNA) The annual production value of Taiwan's flat panel sector is expected to rise 7 percent in 2012, largely on growing demand for handheld devices and the launch of ultrabook computers, the Photonics Industry & Technology Development Association (PIDA) said Saturday.
In addition, increasing outsourcing by Japan-based electronics manufacturers to Taiwan's flat screen makers is expected to boost Taiwan's flat panel output, the PIDA said.
In the segment of large screens, which refers to 10-inch products or bigger, the production value is expected to rise 3.7 percent from a year earlier to NT$783.2 billion (US$26.5 billion) with the growth of the ultrabook computer market, the association said.
Meanwhile, the output of small and medium-sized panels is likely to increase 18 percent year-on-year to NT$294.7 billion as demand for low-end smartphones is increasing rapidly, the association added.
Furthermore, if Apple launches a smaller iPad model later this year as the market hopes, Taiwan's small and medium-sized panel makers will stand to benefit, the PIDA said.
Meanwhile, market advisory firm DisplaySearch said global shipments of LCD TV for the fourth quarter of last year rose 1 percent from a year earlier to 64.24 million units. The year-on-year growth was the lowest since 2004, but the shipments in the quarter representeda 24 percent increase from the third quarter, the firm said.
LCD TVs accounted for 86.5 percent of the total TV shipments in the fourth quarter, compared with 83 percent in the third quarter and 82 percent in the same period of 2010, DisplaySearch said.
The higher LCD TV shipments reflected vendors' aggressive pricing strategy to promote 40-inch models or larger, the advisory firm said.
During the quarter, shipments of 40-inch LCD TVs or larger rose 20 percent from a year earlier, while shipments of screens below 40 inches fell 7 percent from a year ago, it said.
Total global shipments of TVs, including LCD TVs, plasma TVs andcathode ray tube (CRT) TVs, in the fourth quarter fell 4 percent from a year earlier to 74.24 million units, DisplaySearch said.
Shipments of plasma TVs during the same period fell 8 percent from a year earlier, while shipments of CRT TVs dropped 43 percent year-on-year, it added.
The advisory firm said TV shipments in Japan, West Europe and North America for the fourth quarter fell 21 percent from a year earlier, while TV shipments in emerging markets rose 12 percent, with LCD TV shipments up 20 percent.
(By Han Ting-ting, Pan Chi-i and Frances Huang)