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AUO, Innolux upbeat on large panel demand

TAIPEI--Taiwan's top two LCD panel makers AU Optronics Corp. (AUO, 友達) and Innolux Corp. (群創) were upbeat Wednesday on the prospects for their shipments of large panels in the second half of 2014, citing strong demand for TVs and laptops.

AUO President Paul Peng(彭雙浪) told reporters at the International Touch Panel and Optical Film Exhibition in Taipei that global market demand for 65-inch TVs is forecast to reach 4 million units this year, roughly 2.5 times last year's total.

He said AUO, which has the biggest share of the 65-inch TV panel market globally, is anticipating solid demand for large-sized TVs of between 50 and 65 inches on Black Friday in the United States — the day after Thanksgiving seen as one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

Also, global notebook panel demand has been better than expected thanks to commercial PC replacement demand triggered by the end of Microsoft Corp.'s support for its Windows XP system and subsidies for low-cost laptop makers offered by Microsoft and Intel Corp., Peng said.

“Our capacity is expected to be fully utilized into the third and fourth quarters,” Peng said, noting that AUO has not been able to keep up with its orders in hand despite operating at full capacity since the second quarter of the year.

Innolux President Wang Jyh-chau (王志超) said at the exhibition that his company has been unable to meet TV panel demand in the current quarter due to strong demand from both mature and emerging markets.

Wang also forecast that his company's supply of notebook panels would fall 20 percent short of customer demand in the third quarter, mostly because of the high commercial PC replacement rate and the subsidy initiatives.

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