DigiTimes is reporting more bad news in the land of low-cost notebooks like the ASUS Eee and HP Mini-Note. First there was news of Atom processor shortages and now comes news that 8.9-inch display panels could also face constraint in the second half of the year. Estimates suggest that there could be demand for up to 15 million panels from ASUS, HP, Acer and Dell.
To date, there are only two suppliers for the panels: Chunghwa Picture Tubes (CPT) and AU Optronics (AUO). Together they have capacity to ship about 5 million panels this year, according to industry sources. That leaves a significant gap that will need to be filled by new suppliers coming into play. Samsung Electronics, Chi Mei Optoelectronics (CMO), LG Display (LGD), and HannStar Display are all scheduled to start offering 8.9-inch panels soon.
Sources expect that Samsung, CMO and LGD will be able to provide up to 9.5 million panels this year. This assume that they don’t run into production delays. That leaves a shortage of about 500,000 panels that hopefully HannStar can cover when it starts production in June. Overall, it looks like the numbers will be close.
The bottom line: You might want to get your order in early to guarantee that you get yourself one of these new notebooks.