In the strongest indication yet that smartphones are taking over the mobile phone category, smartphone display shipments reached 738 million in 2012, growth of 42% Y/Y. At the same time, total mobile phone display shipments fell by 2%.
The decline was driven by the shrinking of PMLCD (CSTN, MSTN) and QVGA (320×240) displays which are in the mainstream for entry and mid-range mobile phone LCDs.
On the other hand, in 2012, 720HD (1280×720) panel shipments (the resolution for Samsung Galaxy S3) rose to 109 million and those of 1136×640 resolution panel shipment (used in Apple’s iPhone 5) increased to 70 million. These top 2 smartphones combined to expand the Smartphone market in 2012.
In 2013, we expect smartphone display shipments to keep expanding, since there is still a big segment of the market that can upgrade from a feature phone. Display resolution plays a role in this: with Full HD (1920×1080) coming on to smartphones (such as Samsung’s Galaxy S4), additional demand is expected in replacing phones with low resolution and smaller size displays.