Industry watchers at NPD Displaysearch claim that, despite all the doom and gloom poised for the panel market - not helped by a predicted economic nosedive into a second recession - long term, there should be "light at the end of the tunnel".
Although flat panel display manufacturers have lost heaps of money for the past six quarters, and the market is in the middle of its longest ever downturn, most players have frozen almost all expansion plans for LCD TV fabs, according to NPD. Lower prices are increasing demand, especially for large screen TVs. Thanks to those factors, the industry is slowly beginning to sort itself out and is approaching something resembling balance.
2013 should become a turning point. The oversupply should drop under 10 percent for the first time since 2010, NPD says, which should lead to improved panel pricing, better profits, and an increase in investment.
For now, though, the equipment market will really have to tighten its collective belt. NPD believes that this segment is in line for a "severe recession" in 2012, taking a substantial hit to the tune of 63 percent from 2011. Thanks to AMOLED production lines, this should bounce back somewhat in 2013.
IGZO based LCDs, too, are expected to give a boost to the market. Mass production began in the fourth quarter of 2011. Although at first IGZO LCDs will find their home in LCD tablet and Ultrabook displays, eventually they will become more widespread in high resolution large LCD TVs and in some AMOLEDs.