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March 10, 2022
Core Tip: According to the latest survey of Omdia's "Mini LED Backlight Market Tracking Report - 3Q21 Analysis", shipments of notebook panels equipped with mini LED backlights will reach 4.5 million in 2021, a significant increase over 2020. The penetration rate of mini LED notebooks surged to 1.6% in 2021, and the market share exceeded 1% for the first time, thanks to the 14.2- and 16.2-inch mini LED MacBook models launched by Apple late last year.
According to the latest survey of Omdia's "Mini LED Backlight Market Tracking Report - 3Q21 Analysis", shipments of notebook panels equipped with mini LED backlights will reach 4.5 million in 2021, a significant increase over 2020. The penetration rate of mini LED notebooks surged to 1.6% in 2021, and the market share exceeded 1% for the first time, thanks to the 14.2- and 16.2-inch mini LED MacBook models launched by Apple late last year.
The current forecast for notebook panel shipments in 2022 is 300 million units; mini LED notebook panel shipments are expected to be 9.9 million units, with a penetration rate of 3%, reaching another peak in unit shipments and market share.
PC brands are still concerned about adopting mini LED notebook panels due to the high cost. However, the PC market needs another or a new marketing strategy to drive aggregate demand up again; most PC brands are concerned about a demand recession in 2022, as the PC replacement cycle has already occurred before 2021. It may be difficult to sustain demand in the PC market in 2022.
The shipment forecast for Mini LED notebook panels in 2023-2024 seems conservative, mainly because Apple's OLED notebook demand is expected to grow again in the future. Therefore, if Apple starts its OLED notebook business after 2023, the demand forecast for mini LED notebook panels may be limited.
Plans for Mini LED Notebook Panels in 2022
According to Omdia's "Tablet PC and Laptop Display Panels and OEM Information Services", Mini LED laptop panels will be mass-produced for the first time in 2020, provided by AUO, with a 17.3-inch UHD specification. Despite the high cost, it has attracted a large number of Market attention. In 2021, Apple equipped its MacBook lineup with Mini LED backlighting, which has sparked a heated discussion of Mini LED in the PC market. Although there are still many quality or production yield issues for Mini LED panels to be resolved, since 2021, the supply chain of Mini LED notebook panels has been improved by Apple's high-volume push. AUO has also developed its second Mini LED notebook product in the second quarter of 2021, a 16-inch 2560x1600 Mini LED notebook panel, and has worked closely with a PC brand in Taiwan in the early stage.
AUO, Sharp and LG Display have already provided Mini LED notebook panels to selected customers. Other panel makers are also developing and researching Mini LED technology from the third quarter of 2021 to seize future business opportunities. BOE will be another player with the potential to launch more mini LED notebook panels. It provided 15.6-inch UHD mini LED notebook panels to Chinese gaming brand Leshan in the third quarter of 2021, and plans to produce 15.6-inch 1920x1080 and 16-inch 2560x1600 mini LED notebook panels for some Chinese PC brands in the first quarter of 2022. BOE also plans to develop a 14.5-inch 3000x2000 mini LED notebook panel in the third quarter of 2022, and is discussing this possibility with customers, and will adjust the specifications later if necessary.
In 2022, more Mini LED notebook panel projects will be planned to strengthen the PC market demand, as the PC market is expected to experience a decline in demand, especially for mainstream models. Therefore, high-end notebook panel models will be a key strategic trend between panel makers and PC brands this year. However, due to the growing demand for OLED notebook panels in the next few years, there are still many uncertain risks and challenges in the demand for Mini LED notebook panels.