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January global small-, mid-sized panel shipments up 29%

TAIPEI -- Shipments of small- and medium-sized flat panels for January scored a year-on-year increase of almost 30 percent, largely on solid demand for tablet computers, market information advisory firm DisplaySearch said yesterday.

In a research report, DisplaySearch said shipments of flat panels smaller than 9 inches for January rose 29 percent over the same period of last year to about 178 million units, while the January figure fell 2 percent from December, when the sector was enjoying its peak season.

The advisory firm said small tablets gained popularity in the market after U.S.-based Apple Inc. unveiled its iPad mini in September last year.

Shipments of panels for 7-inch tablets for January exceeded 9 million units, DisplaySearch said, adding that shipments of screens for Apple's 7.85-inch iPad mini reached 5.09 million units last month.

DisplaySearch said shipments of panels for sub-9-inch tablets for January rose 327 percent from a year earlier and also grew 10 percent from a month earlier to 14.85 million units.

Shipments of displays for all tablet use totaled 20.70 million units, up 134 percent from a year earlier, DisplaySearch said.

Meanwhile, shipments of large panels of 9 inches or larger for January fell about 20 percent from a year earlier to 53.12 million units, DisplaySearch said. The January figure, however, rose 6 percent from the previous month.

Shipments of TV panels for January fell 7 percent from December but rose 25 percent from a year earlier to 19 million units, while panels for notebook computers and desktop computers fell 35 percent year-on-year and dropped 2 percent month-on-month to 19.89 million units, the advisory firm said.

It said shipments of monitors for desktop computers totaled 12.89 million units, down 16 percent from December and also down 7 percent from a year earlier.

In January, China saw its market share in the global large panel business increase to 14 percent from 7 percent recorded in the same period of last year, as BOE Co. Ltd. and China Star Optoelectronics Technology Corp. — two of the major flat screen makers there — raised their production, DisplaySearch said.

On the other hand, South Korea's market share in the global large panel segment fell to 47 percent in from 58 percent recorded a year earlier in the wake of a decline in shipments of the country's IT products, it said.

In addition, Taiwan and Japan accounted for 36 percent and 4 percent, respectively, of the global large panel shipments last month, the advisory firm said.

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