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AUO Aims for 10-fold Increase in E-paper Shipments This Year

2011/02/10 | By Steve Chuang

Taipei, Feb. 10, 2011 (CENS)--With the global market for e-book readers growing rapidly, AU Optronics Corp. (AUO), a Taiwan-based, globally leading maker of display panels, has aimed for an 8- to 10-fold increase in its e-paper shipments to command a 20% share of the global market, according to the firm.

Based on 10 million e-book readers sold worldwide in 2010, AUO posted a share of about 4% in the global market for e-papers with shipment of around 400,000 units. In comparison, the firm's Taiwanese counterpart Prime View International Co., Ltd. posted a share of over 90% as the largest e-paper supplier in the world.

In fact, AUO was forced to suspend its volume production schedule for Sipix e-papers in the first half of 2010 due to some technical problems, until the problems were solved in the second half.

With its Sipix e-paper production lines running smoothly along with the netting of new clients, the firm is confident of challenging Sipix e-paper shipment of over 3.2 to 4 million units this year, representing an 8- to 10-fold growth from last year. Based on an estimate of 20 million e-book readers to be sold worldwide, the firm is likely to snap a 20% e-paper market share in the year.

Due to e-book readers becoming one of the hottest-sellers during the Christmas sales season in 2010, market observers opine that global market prospects for the devices will remain bright this year despite the rise of Apple Inc.'s iPad, which is widely believed to replace e-book readers soon because of functional similarity. This means that players in the segment for e-papers will also fare well in the year.

Noteworthily, to boost their e-paper business, AUO and PVI both have stepped up their deployments in the educational segment, with the later already setting up a new subsidiary in China to explore the local market.