Taiwanese LCD panel makers claim we can expect a bunch of new notebooks with 15.6" and 16" widescreen LCD displays in 2008.
Panel makers are shifting their notebook application production to fifth-generation (4.5G) plants from 4G or 4.5G plants amid strong demand from small- to medium-size LCD panels. As the efficiency for cutting a 15.4-inch notebook from a 5G glass substrate is only 80% (fifteen pieces) panel makers are now eying 15.6-inch notebook panels, which can generate eighteen pieces from a 5G glass substrate, increasing efficiency to more than 90%, noted the sources.
Although downstream notebook makers indicated that quotes for 15.6-inch panels should be lower than those for 15.4-inch, ASP (average selling prices) for 15.6-inch and 15.4-inch notebook panels are expected to stay close, noted the panel makers.
Samsung currently ships 16-inch notebook LCD panels, said the sources.
While panel makers are developing 15.6-inch panels, downstream vendors are also preparing new products in line with the panel makers' moves. The sources added that Asustek Computer is planning the launch of 15.6-inch notebooks while Acer will introduce both 15.6-inch and 16-inch notebooks in the market. Hewlett-Packard (HP) will also push 16-inch notebooks in the market initially.
However, the marketshare of 15.6" notebooks is expected to be only 3-4% in 2008.