Booming demand for low-priced 7,x-inch products helped shipments of panels used in media tablets to more than double in the first quarter, according to a new report entitled Tablet PC Touch Panel Shipment Database from information and analytics provider HIS.
Global shipments of capacitive touchscreen displays for media tablets amounted to 45,2-million units in the first quarter, as presented in the attached figure. This represented a remarkable 111,9% increase compared to the same period last year, more than doubling the 21,3-million total in the first quarter of 2012.

While shipments were down 13% compared to the fourth quarter, such a seasonal decline is typical for electronics in the first quarter.

“Sales of smaller-sized tablets are rising at a rapid rate, driving shipments of capacitive touchscreen displays ranking in size from 7- to 8-inches,” says Duke Yi, senior manager for display components and materials research at IHS.

“These tablets are inexpensive, with pricing at $199, making them popular among consumers. With the level of competition increasing in both the tablet and panel markets, pricing is expected to continue to decline, boosting shipments of displays and end products in this size range.”

With the increasing number of panel makers, the average selling price (ASP) of tablet PC touch panel modules is falling at a fast rate. In the first quarter of 2013, average pricing of 7-inch tablet touch panels fell to $15.60, down a sharp 16% from $18.60 in the first quarter of 2012. Pricing for 7-inch touch panels dropped by 7,5% from $15.60 in the fourth quarter, the largest sequential percentage decrease of any size.

At the end of the first quarter of 2013, display supplier TPK achieved a 29% market share in the tablet touchscreen market because of its strong cadre of leading stable clients, such as Apple, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Microsoft and Asus—including the Nexus 7. This gave the company the leading position in the tablet touch panel market in terms of unit shipments.

The runner up was Iljin Display, the biggest supplier of tablet PC touch panels for Samsung Electronics, which accounted for 15,5% of market shipments in the first quarter of 2013, up from 7,5% in the first quarter of 2012.

GIS, the touch panel subsidiary of Foxconn Technology Group, is steadily increasing its supply of touch panels for Apple’s iPad and iPad mini. At the same time, GIS is supplying 8,9-inch touch panels for the Amazon Kindle Fire HD.

On the strength of these deals, GIS in the first quarter attained a 13,3% share of shipments, up from 12,8% in the fourth quarter, and just 7,5% in the first quarter of 2012.

Wintek once held the second place in the market because it shared in supplying of touch displays for the Apple iPad with TPK. However, with the rise of GIS, Wintek’s share has fallen. The company’s market share plummeted to 8,5% in the first quarter of this year.

Meanwhile, China’s O-Film quickly reacted to the low-priced 7-inch tablet PC touch market, resulting in the company making great strides quarter after quarter. The company at the end of the first quarter in 2013 placed in the Top 5 with an 8,5% market share.