New research from Omdia’s Notebook and tablet display & OEM Intelligence Service has found that global notebook PC panel shipment is estimated to reach 188.5 million units in 2023 and down by 13% YoY, having declined for two consecutive years since 2021. The inventory burden in 1H23 has resulted in a weaker-than-expected PC market demand status in the post-pandemic period.
From 2H23, although the inventory problem has been gradually easing, the stagnate PC demand is expected to continue through the rest of the year. The biggest issue of the PC market now is the invisible end market demand. Hence, most PC brands are taking a conservative panel procurement strategy in 2023 to avoid the inventory risk from increasing again. To echo this depressing forecast from PC brands, panel makers are also strictly controlling the fab utilization rate in 2023 to stabilize the notebook panel price.
“Conservative product planning is what’s required amid the weak PC phenomenon in 2023,” said Linda Lin, Omdia’s Senior Principal Analyst. All PC brands are reviewing their product roadmaps internally first to assess profit, remove products, and minimize new model project volumes this year to enhance their financial structure. Hence, low-cost display specifications are seeing more demand than high end models in 2023. Notebook displays using TN technology, which adopts the low-price model mainly with both 1366×1768 (HD) and 1920×1080 (FHD) resolutions, is growing significantly despite the current PC demand downward trend. In 2023, the TN technology share in notebook panel remains firm with 25%; just a minor recession compared to last year. Although notebook panel makers have been transferring their capacity from TN to IPS, the TN panel share still occupies more than 20% of the notebook panel technology share in recent years based on a weak PC market in the short term. With notebook display manufacturers continuously focusing on the low-price segment in 2023 and 2024, the IPS notebook panel’s penetration rate is expected to be limited, impacting its share growth in turn with just 72% to 73% in a year.
Looking forward to 2024, Intel, Microsoft, and other PC brands are collectively thinking of ways to upgrade their current product specifications as a means of improving revenue. For notebook displays, the 1366×1768 (HD) resolution may be gradually phased out and will see models shifting to 1920×1080 (FHD) and above resolutions using both TN or IPS technologies after 2024. On the other hand, basic notebook display brightness may also improve from 250 nits currently to 300 nits. These changes will also benefit displays using 16:10 aspect ratios and could improve its market share in 2024 as well. Manufacturers are also on the lookout for opportunities to improve profit margins and upgrade their middle to low end PC segments in the future.