LG and Samsung loosen their iron grip on tablet displays -- slightly

The two South Korean electronics suppliers accounted for more than 80 percent of the market last year, down from 98 percent the previous year, according to an industry report.

Samsung
As tablet popularity rises, display makers LG and Samsung are losing some ground in the fast-growing market for tablet screens.

The two South Korean companies still dominated the tablet display-panel market in 2011, accounting for more than 80 percent of all shipments. That figure, though, is down from 98 percent in 2010, according to an IHS iSuppli market report.

That loss of market share comes amid blazing growth in the overall tablet market. IHS expects tablet shipments to hit 144.5 million units this year, up 78 percent from 81.3 million last year. In 2010, shipments were only 16 million units.

IHS attributes LG and Samsung's success to its high-profile customers: Apple for its iPad, Amazon for its Kindle Fire, Barnes & Noble for its Nook, and Research In Motion for its PlayBook.

LG

LG is a bigger player than Samsung in this market, accounting for 46 percent of the 81.3 million panels shipped in 2011. Samsung's share stands at 35 percent.

"LG and Samsung became the majority suppliers of tablet display panels in 2010, when tablets re-emerged from obscurity thanks to the launch of the iPad that year," Vinita Jakhanwal, director for small and medium displays at IHS, said in a press release.

While LG and Samsung are expected to maintain their dominance this year, IHS expects new players such as Japan-based Sharp Corp. and Japan Display, as well as AU Optronics of Taiwan, to gain share.

Trailing behind LG and Samsung are six suppliers that divided up the remainder of the market in 2011. The companies included Chimei Innolux Corp, Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd. and E-Ink Holdings Inc., all of Taiwan; Tianma Microelectronics Co. and Beijing Orient Electronics Group Co. Ltd. of China; and Hitachi Displays Ltd. of Japan.

 

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