One side effect of the expected craze for AMOLED panels in high-end smartphones this year is that LCD TV prices may not drop as quickly as they have in the past.
A key recent trend in the global display market has been Samsung Display's decision to transform a significant portion of its L7-1 LCD production line into an AMOLED panel line for producing smartphone panels. This led to tight supply of TV panels in the second half of 2016, which was compounded by Foxconn's decision to not have Sharp provide TV panels to Samsung.
According to data from Digitimes Research, the average selling price of 42-inch TV panels increased 54% in the second half of 2016. Digitimes Research believes pricing will continue to rise slightly in the first quarter of 2017 before starting to slowly drop in the second half of the year.
However, Digitimes Research noted that consumers should not worry about the average TV price rising dramatically. TV vendors are unwilling to increase the price of electronics products since consumers tend not to be receptive, Digitimes Research pointed out. Instead TV vendors are looking to focus on higher margin products, such as larger sized TVs or 3D TVs with their panels. One symptom of the more expensive panels though, is that pricing of those products will not drop as quickly as they have in the past.
According to data from the Digitimes Research LCD panel tracker, annual global LCD TV panel shipments dropped in 2016, falling from 268 million to 261 million.
However, TV panel pricing is expected to start falling again in 2018 as more capacity from China-based makers starts ramping up and the industry moves into oversupply.