LCD manufacturers turning focus to tablet growth (report)

The anticipated growth of the tablet market has TFT LCD manufacturers re-prioritizing their focus for 2012, according to a new report.

As demand for larger panes of TFT LCD glass wanes, manufacturers of these parts are turning their focus to smaller devices, according to a new report from NPD DisplaySearch.

Specifically, LCD manufacturers are becoming more keen on developing for tablets as growth in this particular market is anticipated to increase on a quarterly basis, at least for the next year.

Take a look at this chart below from NPD. Although demand for LCD monitors and TVs is expected to be higher in Q1 2012 than it was a year ago, there is still an evident uneasy pattern over the last year.

But when you take a look at tablets, although they still account for a very small chunk of the spectrum, use of TFT LCD glass on these mobile devices has steadily increased to double the amount between Q1 2011 to Q1 2012.

This potentially signals a much more significant trend for tablets over the next few years. The NPD report explains that the implementation of TFT LCD on tablets and netbooks will eventually split, with tablets taking the lead:

In mobile PC applications, panel makers plan to decrease production of mini-note PC panels while increasing production of tablet PC panels, with area production of tablet PC panels expected to double from Q1’11 to Q2’11. Panel makers are also reshaping their tablet PC panel production strategies, with Sharp using its Gen 8 fab to produce tablet PC panels with oxide TFT backplanes, and Samsung, LG Display, and Sharp producing tablet PC panels with more than 200 pixels per inch.

In related mobile device news, another division of NPD, In-Stat, reports that "the consumer's desire to be connected anywhere and anytime" will push the mobile System-on-Chip model to span to more than 3.1 billion devices in 2015 -- up from 2 billion in 2010.

That means we'll see more graphic-heavy user interfaces and HD media on many more devices such as tablets, smartphones, digital cameras, handheld consoles, and much more over the course of the next few years.