China-based smartphone vendors, including Xiaomi, Coolpad, BBK and Meizu, are set to launch several new models in the fourth quarter of 2013 and therefore have increased their touch panel orders to Taiwan-based suppliers. But the touch panel makers are worried their shipments will be hampered by short supply of LTPS LCD panels from Japan, according to industry sources.
These China-based vendors, in order to differentiate their midrange and high-end smartphones, have adopted high-end LTPS display produced by Japan-based makers including Japan Display and Sharp, the sources indicated. However, Japan-based panel makers have been able to fulfill 60-70% of the orders since the second quarter, the sources said.
If the insufficient supply of display panels continues in the fourth quarter, the Taiwan-based touch panel makers will be forced to decrease their shipments to the China vendors, the sources explained.
The short supply is possibly because Japan-based panel makers give supply priority to international smartphone vendors whose order volumes are larger than China-based vendors', the sources said.