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Tablets top laptop shipments
Tablets top laptops - display industry follows

28 Nov 2012 | Rasmus Larsen |

The traditional PC market is being disrupted by smartphones and tablets. Innovation follows the money, and therefore it is noteworthy that display shipments for tablets topped display shipments for laptops for the first time in October. Tablets will show the way for display innovation in the coming years.

Tablets as a display innovation driver

According to data from NPD DisplaySearch, tablet display shipments topped laptop display shipments in October 2012. And because these devices use only one display per unit, it is a good indicator for the two segments. After just 2.5 years tablets have overtaken laptops, which is pretty remarkable.

The new iPad has a Retina display
Display innovation will happen in mobile devices in the coming years

Why is this important? Well, we have numerous examples on how disruption in the electronics industry also reallocates research budgets and innovation – especially for displays. We have already seen how the mobile industry has made display manufacturers increasingly focused on touch displays. TV manufacturers are suffering and some TV panel plants are even being retooled as mobile display plants. We have also seen how the mobile industry has led the trend towards IPS panels which have affected the PC monitor segment in a good way. And most notably, we have seen how the mobile display industry have made possible high-pixel-density displays.

Samsung Smart TV
Tablet display shipments have topped laptop display shipments in the month of October, data from NPD DisplaySearch

Display innovation is no longer driven by the PC/laptop market or the TV market. Instead, display makers are moving investments and resources to the mobile display arena. The mobile display arena is where you should look for display innovation in the coming years. Mark our words.

But what is next? Tactile displays? Bendable displays? Or maybe something entirely different? We will have to look to tablets to find out in the coming years.

- Data: NPD DisplaySearch

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