Large-area TFT LCD makers targeting 53 per cent LED backlight penetration for TV panels in 2011

Paul Boughton
Global shipments of LCD TV panels with LED backlights reached a high of 16.6 million units in Q4 2010, with strong growth in edge-lit configurations. According to the latest DisplaySearch Quarterly Large-Area TFT LCD Shipment–Advanced LED Report, panel makers are targeting rapid penetration increases for LED backlights in LCD TV panels, growing from 36 per cent in Q1 2011 to 62 per cent in Q4 2011 for an overall penetration of 53 per cent for 2011. For the year 2010, penetration reached 21 per cent, up from 2 per cent in the previous year.

“Despite some buildup of LED-backlit TV panel inventories in the second half of 2010, the industry has recognized that LED backlighting is an irreversible trend, with benefits such as lower power consumption and slimness,” noted David Hsieh, DisplaySearch Vice President and research leader for large-area panels. “This has encouraged LCD TV panel makers to reduce LED backlighting costs continuously in order to increase shipments.”

The growing awareness of LEDs among consumers has encouraged panel makers to increase LED performance. DisplaySearch expects that LED penetration will pass 50 per cent and become the mainstream for LCD TV backlights.

Hsieh added: “This does not mean that CCFL will no longer be in demand, as there are still many end users and emerging markets that are very price sensitive. It’s important for the industry to maintain support for CCFL panels.”

The highest penetration of LED backlights in LCD TV panels was in the 50-in to 60-in segment. In Q4 2010, LED backlight penetration was 76 per cent in 50-54-in LCD TV panels, 67 per cent in 55-59,” and 87 per cent in 60-in+. In the 46-47-in segment, LED backlight penetration was 54 per cent in Q4 2010. In the 40-42-in and 32-in segments, LED backlight penetration was 37 per cent and 17 per cent, respectively.

Nearly all LCD TV panel makers are focusing on edge-type LED backlights in TV panels, with the exception being Sharp, which is producing direct type as well. LG Display led in LED-backlit LCD TV panel shipments in Q4 2010, shipping more than 5 million units for a 31.1 per cent share. Sharp closely followed with 21.5 per cent, then Samsung with 20.8 per cent, and AUO with 14.2 per cent.

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