Announcement of sale of Samsung LCD P8-2 line

Recently, Samsung’s announcement of the sale of the P8-2 LCD line in Tangjeong was posted (announced on June 29).

Samsung has been steadily selling the old LCD line until recently, but since it has never posted a sale announcement, it is unusual to post a notice on the sale of this P8-2 line.

 

Prior to this, some facilities of the P8-1 line were converted to the newly invested QD display line, and only about 30K of TFT and 200K of CF out of all 200K-scale process equipment were sold to companies in China.

Shenzhen EFONLONG OPTRONICS DISPLAY CO., LTD, which acquired Samsung P8-1 line equipment, was founded in 2008 as a manufacturer of LCD modules , located in shenzhen, China. Hefengtai is known to attract investment from the government of Zhejiang, China, and install and operate a relocation facility in Zhejiang.

 

On the other hand, this P8-2 is known to sell the entire 200K-scale facility, and it is known that Samsung C&T is in charge of it, and the sale amount reaches 500 billion won.

 

Samsung is known to preferentially convert existing LCD facilities in line with the investment of QD Display, but due to the announcement of the sale of all volumes, it is expected that most of the investment facilities will be newly purchased in the future.

 

In view of this information, it is possible to carefully predict the possibility of a delay in the investment schedule of an additional 90K scale after the current QD display 30K investment or a change in the investment direction associated with QNED development status.

Jiangsu LEMENG (江苏乐萌) invests 200 million yuan for OLED metal mask project

On June 18, 2020, Jiangsu Lemeng Precision Science and Technology Co., Ltd. (江苏乐萌精密科技有限公司, hereinafter Jiangsu Lemeng) invested 200 million yuan to sign a project contract to confirm the OLED metal mask. It was held in the state-of-the-art new district of Changzhou, Changzhou, Jiangsu Province.

Jiangsu Lemeng (江苏乐萌) secured 77,000 m2 new plant site for expand the OLED metal mask production line. Based on the existing G6 and G5.5 Mask Frame production lines, it will expand production capacity and secure large-scale production capacity of CMM. After the project is completed, Jiangsu Lemeng (江苏乐萌) can produce 8000 Mask Frames and 1000 CMMs annually, and the production sales are expected to reach 500 million yuan. Metal masks are core consumable parts required for OLED production, and have been exclusively supplied by Japanese and Korean companies for a long time.

 

Jiangsu Lemeng(江苏乐萌) is a subsidiary of Lemeng, Changzhou City, invested 120 million yuan from OLED business unit of Lemeng, Changzhou City, the predecessor, and related to OLED metal mask industrialization from 2017 Technology has been developed. Started mass production of Mask Frame from October 2019 and has a production capacity of about 1000 pieces per year. Jiangsu Lemeng is known to have already secured CMM industrialization technology, and is expected to secure 1,000 CMM production capacity annually from June 2021, when the new facility is completed.

 

Source: OLED Industry June 19

Investment of 43.75 billion yuan, investment of new Micro OLED factory in China

According to China’s Fujian Daily, a large-scale investment agreement has been recently signed in Quanzhou, China. According to the contents of the agreement, the contents of various agreements including the Micro OLED project, high-purity electronic materials, lithium hexafluorophosphate project, China Datang 5G Southeast Industrial Base project, and integrated circuit start-up investment fund business are included. It consists of high-tech IT industries such as manufacturing, digital economy, and financial services.

It is known that Quanzhou City’s Micro OLED project is planned to divide the total of 4.33 billion yuan into two stages. The first phase of the project is to invest 667 million yuan and build one micro OLED module test production line on a 5000 square meter site. The monthly production capacity is 1 million units (basic size 8 inches), and the production of 100,000 modules is completed on an annual basis. It is estimated that the annual output of the resulting production will reach 350 million yuan. The second phase, which is in progress, is 3.7 billion yuan. One Micro OLED plant is built and the monthly production capacity is 15,000 sheets (12 inches of substrate size), and one Micro OLED plant will be produced to produce 20 million consumer electronics modules.

According to the breaking news reported earlier, the Micro OLED project was also announced at the concentrating cloud contract of Qianzhou City’s major project in 2020, held by the City Hall of Quanzhou on March 19th. At the time, the event was conducted in the form of’meeting site + online linkage of investment destinations’. Vice Minister Wang Yafu of County, Quanzhou City, signed the Huidong Industrial Park Micro OLED business, investing a total of 4.35 billion won with Chairman Wu Wen Tian of 福建恒煦实业有限公司 on behalf of the current government.

Source: Fujian Daily June 5

Samsung Display A3 line replaced with Y-OCTA manufacturing line

The touch panel technology installed on a mobile phone is an important element technology that performs a user interface function. Touch technology is changed from an add-on type to an on-cell type in flexible OLED displays.

The built-in method in which a touch sensor is formed on a thin film encapsulation (TFE) is called by various names such as Y-OCTA(YOUM on-cell touch AMOLED), ToE(touch on encapsulation) or FMLOC(flexible multi-layer on cell touch) for each panel maker. Unlike the add-on type, the on-cell type touch sensor is formed directly on the top of the encapsulation layer without a separate base film. Due to this, the on-cell type has a higher process difficulty than the add-on type, but it is advantageous to manufacture a thin OLED panel thickness, and there is an effect of reducing the process cost.

Recently, in order to apply this on-cell type touch technology to mobile phones using OLEDs, each display manufacturer is undergoing a step-by-step line modification work. Four mask steps are added to apply the on-cell type touch technology. There are two ways to cope with this process step increase: to install and respond to new equipment as much as the process to increase, and to proceed with the process at existing facilities.

Samsung Display decided to use an existing exposure machine to use the on-cell type touch technology in the existing A3 line (Tangjeong), and is in the process of remodeling the 105K capacity TFT production line. In the existing process flow, a back plane process is performed with mother glass of 1500×1800 mm2 and 1500×900 mm2 glass with half-cutting of this mother glass is processed in the OLED process. Therefore, in order to process the half-cut glass again in the back plane equipment, the jig manufacturing method of connecting and processing two cut sheets is applied. After this modification, the production capacity of the A3 line will be reduced. The amount of 105K of the A3 line that is currently being renovated is changed from LTPS process to LTPO process, and it is combined with Y-OCTA process. In this case, 3 mask steps increase as LTPS is changed to LTPO, and 4 additional mask steps increase for Y-OCTA. As a result of the total increase of 7 mask steps, the A3 line is expected to reduce the existing 105K production capacity to approximately 75K level after remodeling.

China’s BOE is also constructing built-in touch processes in B7 and B11. BOE is in the process of adding and processing exposure equipment, etc. as a way to add a built-in touch process. In this case, there will be no significant change in production capa.

<Production capacity comparing with before/after modifying at SDC A3 line>

Samsung’s QNED, will make a sensation in the TV and display markets?

QNED (Quantum dot nanorod LED), which is known to be under development by Samsung, is becoming a hot issue in the display industry in 2020.

With the emergence of micro LEDs, followed by CRTs, PDPs, LCDs, and OLEDs as TV displays, the industry is interested in whether QNED could be another new technology.

Samsung Display is known to stop the LCD business and invest 13.1 trillion won as an alternative to do the QD-OLED business. In this situation, attention is being focused because the development of QNED can act as another variable in the future of Samsung Display’s large display business.

QNED uses oxide TFT and QD (quantum dot) -CF (color filter) technologies used in QD-OLED manufacturing. On the other hand, the pixel material that emits light is characterized by being changed to a nano-sized bar-type LED (nanorod LED), unlike OLED emitting materials. The pixel manufacturing technology, which is the core technology of QNED manufacturing, is a method of spraying nanorod LEDs dispersed in a solution into a pixel area by an ink jet method and arranging them in a self-align method by an electric signal.

UBI Research published a report that analyzed the structure and manufacturing technology of QNED based on the patented technology filed by Samsung Display. This report is structured to quantitatively analyze QNED-related patents filed by Samsung Display, so that QNED’s technology completeness and mass productivity can be known.

QNED structure and manufacturing technology analysis report published

UBI Research (www.ubiresearch.com) published “QNED Structure and Manufacturing Technology Analysis Report”, which analyzed 41 cases of Samsung Display’s QNED (quantum dot nanorod LED) published patents.

The contents described in this report were selected from the 41 patents published, which are considered to be used for QNED manufacturing, and are constructed by qualitative analysis.

As a result of analyzing the published patent, the QNED structure was formed of TFT, pixel, and QD (quantum dot) -CF (color filter). In the published patent, all TFT structures are depicted as 2Tr (transistor), but it is estimated that a 3Tr1C structure will be used because at least three TFTs for current driving are required. The pixels consisted of nanorod LEDs, electrodes, and optical structures to increase light efficiency.

Until now, the electrode structure of the pixel was known to be rectangular, but as a result of analyzing published patents, the electrode structure is estimated to be circular. In a specific patent, when the asymmetric waveform was applied to the circular electrode, the alignment direction and alignment characteristics of the nanorod LED were improved. It is judged that the nanorod LED alignment electrode and the drive use the same electrode.

The nanorod LED used for QNED manufacturing is made of GaN and emits blue light, and the size is <1um x 10um. In order to increase the alignment effect of the nanorod LEDs and reduce process defects, the nanorod LED surface appears to be treated with an insulating film and an orientation radical.

What is the difference between the touch types of each model of iPhone 12?

All of Apple’s iPhone 12 models, OLED panels will be used and consisted of four models. There are three sizes, 5.4 inches, 6.1 inches, and 6.7 inches, respectively, and 6.1 inches are divided into two models.

Samsung Display and LG Display have begun preparing to mass-produce, with recent orders from Apple. Samsung Display plans to supply OLED panels of all sizes, LG Display plans to supply 6.1-inch OLED panels, and there are differences in touch type by size.

First, on-cell touch which a touch electrode is formed on a thin film encapsulation (TFE) is applied to 5.4 inch and 6.7 inch models. Each panel maker is called Y-OCTA (YOUM on-cell touch AMOLED), ToE (touch on encapsulation), FMLOC (flexible multi-layer on-cell touch), and unlike add-on touch, a touch electrode is formed directly on the upper layer without base films. Due to this, the on-cell touch has a higher process difficulty than the add-on touch, but it is advantageous to fabricate a thin OLED panel thickness, and the process cost is also reduced.

Add-on method is applied to 6.1 inches. A touch electrode is formed on the base film, and is attached on the TFE by adhesive. It has the advantage that the process is simpler than on-cell touch.

<Flexible OLED touch type, Source: AMOLED Manufacturing Process Report>

Recently, rumors that BOE is supplying 5.4 inch and 6.1 inch OLED panels to Apple have turned around, but 5.4 inch is on-cell touch type and it is still difficult to supply for iPhone 12 due to technical difficulty. BOE is developing a 6.1-inch OLED panel and has not received calls yet.

<iPhone 12’s touch types and panel suppliers>

Who is the supplier of OLED panels for iPhone 12?

<Image of iPhone 12 Pro Max, Source: EveryApplePro>

Apple’s new iPhone 12 will be consisted of 4 models, and all 4 models are expected to adopt OLED. The general lineup of the iPhone 12 is the 5.4 inch iPhone 12 and the 6.1 inch iPhone 12 Max, and the pro lineup is the 6.1 inch iPhone Pro and the 6.7 inch iPhone Pro Max.

Recently, rumors are floating that BOE will supply OLED of 5.4 inch and 6.1 inch general models, and Samsung Display will supply OLED of 6.1 inch and 6.7 inch pro models. Due to the news that Chinese OLED panel manufacturer BOE is supplying OLEDs to Apple, the interest of OLED-related companies such as light-emitting material companies and component companies is growing day by day.

According to UBI Research, BOE is developing 5.4 inch and 6.1 inch OLEDs, but has not received any calls from Apple. In the current situation, Samsung Display plans to supply 5.4 inch, 6.1 inch, and 6.7 inch OLEDs, and LG Display and BOE are developing 6.1 inch OLEDs.

The BOE hasn’t gotten a clear call yet, but there’s plenty of time left for the mass production of the iPhone 12, so there’s plenty of room for the BOE to get a call from Apple. While the production of the iPhone 12 is likely to be delayed by about a month due to the corona incident, it usually takes 4 ~ 5 months from the OLED panel test to the mass production of the set, so there is enough time.

Related information can also be found in the recent report of ‘change in OLED market by coronavirus’, published by UBI Research.

2020 OLED market change by coronavirus

According to UBI Research’s report on changes in the OLED market caused by coronavirus, the forecast for the 2020 OLED modification market is $ 36.7 billion in sales and 612 million units. This is a decrease of 4.8% and 7.6%, respectively, from the expected sales of $ 38.5 billion and shipments of 6.6 million units at the beginning of the year.

As a result of UBI Research’s analysis of the effect of coronavirus on the OLED market for two months, the global smartphone market is expected to drop by 20% and the TV market is expected to decrease by 15%. However, the impact on the overall OLED industry was judged to be only 5-8%. OLED panels for smartphones, TVs and watches are expected to decrease, but the market for OLEDs for monitors is expected to increase.

The expected OLED shipment for smartphones was 527 million units at the beginning of the year, but the forecast for correction is 486 million units, a decrease of only 7.8%. Although the market for Galaxy and iPhone is analyzed to be higher than the average decrease rate, Chinese smartphone makers are expected to reduce LCD smartphones and increase production of OLED smartphones significantly.

Chinese smartphone makers’ use of OLED seems to follow Apple’s business direction. Flagship models of Chinese smartphone makers have used Pro and Pro Plus. Pro is the model grade name used by Apple and Plus is the model grade name used by Samsung. However, flagship models of Chinese smartphone makers that are launching this year are using both Pro and Pro Max as well as Apple. All of these models, like Apple, plan to use flexible OLEDs.

The OLED TV market was found to be greatly affected by coronavirus. Estimated shipments at the beginning of the year were 4.9 million units, but the forecast for correction was 3.6 million units, down by 1.3 million units. A 26.5% reduction is expected. This is 300,000 units more than 2019 shipments. This is because the production schedule of the Guangzhou factory has been postponed since the third quarter due to the coronavirus, and TV sales are plunging due to the spread of coronavirus in Japan and Europe, the main markets for OLED TV. In fact, Japan’s TV performance in the second quarter was below 50% in 2019.

However, the demand for the OLED panel business for monitors that Samsung Display has been promoting since the second half of last year is expected to increase due to the game industry, telecommuting, telemedicine, and remote classes due to the aftermath of the coronavirus.

Merck acquires OLED patents for display applications from Konica Minolta

Merck announced that it acquired the OLED patent portfolio for display applications from Konica Minolta Inc., a global technology company that provides innovative solutions to businesses and society on 24th April. The acquired portfolio comprises over 700 patent families.

“Adding Konica Minolta’s patents to our already strong portfolio will further boost our OLED development pipeline”, said Kai Beckmann, Member of the Executive Board of Merck and CEO Performance Materials. “With this step we will further strengthen our power to drive innovations in the fast-growing market of OLED displays.”

For more than 15 years, Merck has conducted research and development in the OLED technology field, and, as a result, became one of the leading OLED material suppliers.

The acquisition of Konica Minolta’s OLED patents for display applications is effective immediately. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Apple’s last LCD phone, iPhone SE

The iPhone SE, the last product of the LCD smartphone that Apple has opened to the smartphone market, has been released.

Apple’s 2019 model iPhone 11 had three models, the base model iPhone 11 used a 6.06inch LCD, and the advanced specifications iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max used 5.85 inch and 6.46inch flexible OLED, respectively.

Samsung Display supplies both 5.85inch and 6.46inch flexible OLEDs, and LG Display has supplied only 6.46inch flexible OLEDs from the fourth quarter of 2019.

This year, Apple releases a four-model iPhone. There are three types of iPhone, SE2 which started selling this month, and 3 iPhone 12 which starts selling in September. Strictly speaking, since there are 2 models of the iPhone 12 Pro, 4 types of iPhones using OLED will be released in the second half of this year.

Apple’s current LCD phones are the iPhone 11 and the newly released SE2. Of the iPhone models released by Apple this year, only the LCD will use the SE2, and the SE2 is expected to be Apple’s last LCD smartphone.

Apple already mentioned that in 2019, all future iPhone displays will be replaced by OLEDs. Therefore, in fact, this is the reason that the SE2 released this time is expected to be the last LCD phone.

Most of the latest smartphones are more than 6 inches, but the iPhone SE2 released this time is a small 4.7-inch model using IPS LCD.

The reason Apple used a small display is believed to be a strategic product to target the mid-priced market of around $ 500. It’s currently $ 549.99 on eBay, but it’s on Amazon for $ 399.

Apple’s expected iPhone strategy is two tracks. First of all, in order to maintain the second largest market share in shipments, it is necessary to match shipments with products with a wide market of $ 500. And the operating profit creation is to fit the expensive iPhone 12 series using flexible OLED.

However, shipments of LCD phones are expected to gradually disappear after 2021, depending on the sales of 5.42 inches, the basic model of iPhone 12, which will be released in the second half of this year.

Huawei’s OLED TV launch, LG Electronics, and Sony’s 48-inch OLED TV launch will further increase the influence of OLED TV

Huawei launch its first OLED TV and LG Electronics and Sony will launch a new lineup, a 48-inch OLED TV. As a result, the OLED TV camp and lineup are expected to become more diverse.

First, Huawei will launch its first OLED TV X65 soon. X65 is used a 24-megapixel camera to control the TV with a ‘gesture tracking’ function that recognizes the user’s face, motion, and posture, and is equipped with 14 under-screen speakers to automatically To correct the sound. The X65 used LG Display’s OLED will be released on April 8.

China’s OLED TV camp has increased to five camps from Skyworth, Konka, Changhong, and Xiaomi to Huawei. In addition, Huawei’s OLED TV launch, which is leading the Chinese smartphone market, can have a great influence on the premium TV market in the future.

<Hauwei’s OLED TV ‘X65’, Source: news.mydrivers.com>

Meanwhile, LG Electronics and Sony, which are leading the OLED TV market, will launch a new 48-inch OLED TV to make the lineup more diverse. Currently, OLED TVs have only 55-inch, 65-inch, and 77-inch lineups, and are evaluated to have a relatively short lineup compared to LCD TVs. LG Electronics and Sony are planning to target the Japanese or European market with high preference for small TVs through the launch of this 48-inch OLED TV.

<Sony’s 48 inch OLED TV ‘KJ-48A9S’, Source: Sony.jp>

LG Electronics and Sony’s 48-inch OLED TVs are scheduled to be released in May and July, respectively.

It is noteworthy whether OLED TV will exert great influence once again in the premium TV market in 2020, such as Huawei joining the OLED TV camp and LG Electronics and Sony launching the first 48-inch OLED TV.

Samsung Display QD-OLED investment timing forecast

Samsung’s LCD business, which began in 1991, will be suspended in 2021. Samsung’s LCD business is completely closed after a 30-year lifespan. Samsung foresaw the limitations of the LCD business 10 years ago and stopped investing in the 10G. Instead, Samsung Electronics has separated the LCD business to create a Samsung Display combined with Samsung SDI’s OLED and has been preparing for a new display era.

Samsung’s loss of LCD business can be estimated for two reasons. The first is the deterioration of profitability from China’s LCD over-investment, and the second is the transition to a new business with high added value.

Since the display is an essential product in the modern information society, demand is gradually increasing worldwide as the usage is increased. In addition, as the amount of information increases, the data to be expressed increases, so the display size must also increase. By these two factors, the display industry has the power to continue to develop. However, China’s LCD investments have continued to invest in large quantities over many years. In the wake of this, only two LCD companies in Japan, Sharp and JDI, remained, and the Korean LCD business also reached a point where it was necessary to organize the business due to deficits.

Samsung Display and LG Display have expanded the OLED business to respond to the low-priced panel of Chinese LCD companies, and have focused on producing OLEDs with the best image quality preferred by set makers with high brand power. Samsung Display already secured a market of $ 25.3 billion in the smartphone display business in 2019, and LG Display secured $ 2.2 billion in sales in the OLED market for TV last year.

Samsung Display has enjoyed tremendous sales and operating profit in the OLED business, but the LCD business has been in the red for several years. Samsung Display sells LCDs for monitors, mainly for LCDs for TVs, but has secured the optimal solution to replace them all as QD-OLEDs.

QD-OLED production, which Samsung Display started investing from this year, uses 8.5G equipment. This is because Samsung Display’s factory in Tangjeong is an 8.5G LCD line, which can reduce the cost of building an OLED production line. Samsung Display will produce 8K 65-inch QD-OLED panels at this plant starting next year. It also produces QD-OLEDs for 32-inch 4K monitors. Maintaining the TV and monitor panel business previously held by Samsung Display, profitability can be secured by selling expensive products.

Samsung Display started investing in QD-OLED 30K in the existing 8.5G LCD factory, but the total investment is 120K. The remaining investment is 90K. Samsung Display’s additional investment is expected to change in size and timing depending on the QD-OLED production situation starting next year. If a yield of over 60% is secured from the beginning of production, the remaining 90K can be invested in next year. This is the most desirable timing. It can be used without leaving the LCD engineer. To prepare for this situation, all LCD lines must be removed by the first half of 2021. The next scenario is when the QD-OLED yield is less than 60%. In general, when the yield is low, the plant cannot be fully operated, so it does not require much manpower. Since additional investment is appropriate after securing the yield, it is a method of separating the investment, investing 30 ~ 60K, and then investing the remaining size later.

Nobody know what will happen next year, but Samsung Display is steadily taking a step forward to secure the future business.

3F starts construction of 1,100 tons of PI production plant annually

China has entered the localization of PI. Although it has grown to the world’s highest level of LCD production, it is still only a few percent in the OLED panel market. In the OLED field, the Chinese government continues to invest heavily in panel makers, mainly BOE, to help China become the best production base. However, the supply chain of parts and materials that are essential for producing OLED is very poor.

The Chinese government has invested in a PI plant to make flexible substrates, which is the first step in flexible OLED manufacturing.

3F New Material, located in Changshu, started a project capable of producing 1,100 tons of PI per year. The project involved construction of a three-story production plant on a site of 2408 square meters with a total investment of 216 million yuan. The total building area is 7224 square meters, and after completion of the factory, it will have the capacity to produce 1,000 tons of PI for the substrate and 100 tons of transparent PI for the cover window.

Samsung Display, LG Display, and OLED sales depend on the operation of the Vietnamese module factory

Samsung Display and LG Display, whose business trip to Vietnam was blocked by the Corona virus, are trying to prevent delays in OLED production by launching charter.

Samsung Display, which produces OLED for mobile devices, operates a line of OLED modules for smartphones in Bac Ninh, Vietnam, and Samsung Electronics also has smartphone manufacturing plants in Bac Ninh and Tai Nguyen. Samsung Display installed the foldable OLED module line 30K in December 2019. In this module factory, Samsung Display is producing foldable OLED modules for Galaxy Z flips, which Samsung Electronics has begun selling this year. LG Display invested a total of KRW 1 trillion in Haiphong, Vietnam in May 2016 to produce the OLED module, built a module factory and started operation in September of that year.

The Vietnamese government is blocking entry from Korea to prevent the spread of coronavirus. This has made it difficult for Korean companies with factories in Vietnam to travel to Vietnam. However, Samsung Display and LG Display are preparing a charter for the normal operation of their OLED module factory and are on a business trip to Vietnam.

If Samsung Display is unable to manage the Vietnamese module factory, Samsung Electronics will disrupt the production of the Galaxy Z Flip, which is the biggest game this year, and may cause huge losses and may be affected by the leading position in the foldable smartphone market. LG Display is also in an urgent situation. From the fourth quarter of last year, LG Display began to supply pOLED to Apple following Samsung Display, and pOLED shipments to Apple are increasing this year. As LG Display supplied pOLED to Apple, sales increased significantly last year. This year, LG Display’s Apple supply is expected to reach 15 million units.

Therefore, these two companies are desperate to manage the module factory in Vietnam to maintain the OLED business.

OPPO Launches All-round 5G Flagship Find X2 Series with Industry-leading Screen

OPPO unveiled its Find X2 series March 6, 2020 – a flagship lineup of 5G devices that delivers a powerful camera experience and battery life, with one of the most advanced screens in the industry.

In the 5G era, with the improvement of the network, users are now consuming content at a much faster rate and simultaneously have higher requirements for the content quality. Catering to these needs, Find X2 is equipped with a 120Hz QHD+ AMOLED screen, an all-round ultra-vision-camera system, the industry’s fastest 65W SuperVOOC 2.0 flash charging technology and the most advanced 5G mobile platform—Snapdragon 865. The Find X2 Pro is also the first mobile phone to support all-pixel omnidirectional focus and up to 12bit photo capturing.

Both Find X2 and Find X2 Pro are equipped with an OPPO customized 120Hz 6.7inch QHD+ Ultra Vision Screen with more than one billion variations of color display capabilities, bringing a visual revolution in resolution, color, refresh rate and brightness. With a resolution of 3168×1440, 513 ppi, ultra-low screen reflectivity and a maximum screen brightness of up to 1200nit, it creates a clear and comfortable display in any environment.

The Find X2 series adopts a front and back sleek double-curve body design. The front of Find X2 series is covered with Corning Gorilla’s sixth-generation glass panel. The advanced COP packaging technology and the 67.8° curved surface design create a visually borderless effect, making the phone round and smooth to touch.

The impact of the corona virus on the OLED market in 2020

Dark clouds are approaching Korean industry by the corona virus that has been blown since the beginning of the year. Wuhan, the birthplace of the corona virus, is badly affecting the Chinese display industry because it is a key place where Chinese display makers are building large production bases.

Wuhan and other plant set-ups are experiencing difficulties due to the lack of manpower needed to build the line. At the same time, the utilization rate of the entire supply chain in China is falling sharply, as the labor force of parts and materials manufacturers in China is delayed to return to the factory. In the smartphone industry, the center of the OLED industry, iPhone production is affected in the first quarter. Foxconn’s factories, which produce iPhones in Zhangzhou and Shenzhen, China, are operating at 50% at end-February. This is because manufacturing workers are returning to the factory late. Companies such as Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo are also hampering smartphone production due to delays in parts procurement.

Nevertheless, the production of OLED smartphones is not much affected yet. First, Samsung Display’s panel production plant, which accounts for 86.3% (2019) of OLED shipments for smartphones, is located in Korea, while the module plant in Vietnam is not affected by China. In addition, the supply chain has no effect as most of the material production bases that make up OLED panels (including modules) are also in Korea.

Samsung Display’s OLED production for smartphones in January and February totaled 48 million units, less than 2 million units compared to 50 million units shipped in the same period in 2019. Of these, 14 million and 17 million units were supplied to Chinese smartphone makers in 2019 and 2020, respectively. This year, more than 3 million units are shipped. So far, Samsung Display’s OLED business is not affected by the corona virus.

The total market share of Chinese OLED panel makers in 2019 is 11.7%. By February, the panel utilization rate of Chinese OLED panel makers was maintained at 80%. The impact of factory operation due to lack of manpower is about 20% because most of the display manufacturing industry is driven by automated facilities. Chinese OLED makers import most of the major materials, including light emitting materials, from Korea and Japan, so they are hardly affected by the corona virus.

The parts procurement status of smartphone makers in China affects the market. If Chinese suppliers, including Huawei, fail to procure parts in China, smartphone production will be hampered. However, as Samsung Display’s OLED production for China is progressing smoothly, Chinese smartphone makers have a strategy of maintaining OLED smartphones, which are expensive brands.

In addition, the first quarter is the off-season with the lowest shipment season, so even if it is difficult to operate a smartphone manufacturing plant until March, the impact on the overall market is about 10%. After the second quarter, if the corona virus subsides, demand can resume.

The problem is from March. China’s corona virus has slowed down, but South Korea has been expanding since the last week of February. There is someone has a virus at Samsung’s Gumi smartphone manufacturing plant. In addition, the Vietnamese authorities, concerned about the influx of South Korea’s virus, refused to visit Koreans, which may make it difficult for the headquarters to properly deal with problems with Samsung Display’s module plant management in Vietnam.

Most important of all, the corona virus is spreading all over the world, and economic activity is severely reduced. In China, the entrance of the apartment is blocked, so it is difficult to bring TV. The Chinese TV market is shrinking. Many people are refusing to go out because they are concerned about a corona virus infection, so fewer people visit a store and buy a smartphone. Consumer sentiment is falling significantly.

Assuming that the corona virus crisis will end in March in Korea and China, the impact of the smartphone OLED industry on 2020 is estimated to be about 5%, but if it is prolonged, it may be adversely affected by more than 10%. Assuming that the corona virus crisis will end in March, the impact of the smartphone OLED industry on 2020 is estimated to be around 5%, but if it continues until the first half of the year, it could be adversely affected by 10%.

The OLED business for TV is slightly different. LG Display’s factories that produce exclusive OLED panels for TVs are located in Paju, Korea, and Guangzhou, China. The Paju plant is not disrupted at all. Like OLEDs for smartphones, parts and components are mostly supplied by Korean and Japanese companies, so Paju factory is not affected by China.

The problem is the Guangzhou plant. LG Display has been expected to produce panels since September 2019, but its supply has been delayed due to poor panel lifetime. LG Display has begun production of panels again this year and is undergoing product tests from customers. Recently, however, the corona virus has begun to spread in Korea, making it difficult for Korean engineers to go to Guangzhou. Even if the corona virus disappears in the first quarter in China and the factories operate normally, it may take some time before the panel is supplied from the Guangzhou plant.

According to Ubi Research’s OLED market track, the 2020 forecast is 4.95 million units without considering the corona virus situation, of which 750,000 OLED panels for TV can be produced by LG Display in the first quarter. If the 55-inch production volume is large, up to 800,000 units can be produced. Since the data were prepared in anticipation that panels produced at the GuangZhou plant will be available from the second quarter, LG Display’s panel supply is expected to be 1.4 million units in the second quarter.

However, it is possible that production will be delayed after May if the customer’s quality certification of panels produced at Guangzhou plant is delayed due to the Korean coronavirus rather than the Chinese coronavirus. In that case, the annual TV panel production could be reduced by about 200,000 units, which is expected to decrease by 4% from the estimated total. However, if the corona virus is prolonged by June, it can cause up to 10% of adverse effects. The market should consider 500,000 fewer than expected.

 

LG Display named Huawei flexible OLED supplier for new smartphone P40 Pro

LG Display is the top OLED company with a monopoly market in the production of OLED panels for TVs, but the performance was low in the flexible OLED market for smartphones until the first half of 2019.

LG Display built a flexible OLED line after Samsung Display and focused on panel sales, but failed to supply flexible OLED by pushing BOE to Huawei’s P30 Pro model in 2019. However, in the second half of 2019, it succeeded in supplying panels to Huawei for Mate30 Pro, and began supplying flexible OLED for iPhone to Apple.

Huawei’s P40 Pro shipment target is 12 million units, and LG Display is expected to supply 50%. The variable is a new coronavirus. It could change Huawei’s smartphone launch schedule and volume.

Huawei is highly dependent on domestic demand, and coronaviruses can reduce shipments by more than 10%.

Compal develops 13-inch foldable PC FlexBook

Compal, an ODM for notebook and mobile devices, has developed a prototype foldable hybrid tablet that can be equipped with a keyboard. Similar to Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Fold, Compal’s FlexBook is a 13.1 tablet with two speakers at the bottom, two USB-C ports, and a volume button on the side.

The tablet can be folded in half with a foldable OLED and a zero gap lay flat hinge. Fold in half to use it like a notebook. Attach a keyboard to make it easier to use. This product can use stylus.

Estimated OLED shipments by 2020 will be 662 million units

According to UBI Research’s “2020 OLED Annual Report”, OLED sales in 2020 are expected to be $ 38.5 billion, an increase of 17.5% from the sales of $ 32.8 billion in 2019.

In terms of shipments in 2020, smartphone OLEDs are expected to reach 527 million units, TV OLED units at 4.9 million units, and watch OLED units at 118 million units. The estimated 2020 shipments of OLED for foldable phones are 6 million units.

The bad news for the OLED market for smartphones in 2020 is a decline in demand due to the ongoing Corona virus COVID-19. But in 2H, demand for flexible OLED will increase as Apple adopts more OLEDs. In particular, OCTA will be applied to the flexible OLED for iPhone, which will be produced in 2H, and the price of flexible OLED is expected to fall by 15-20%. The high price of US $ 1,000 or more could lead to a surge in replacement demand for iPhones, which could not be replaced, leading to increased flexible OLED shipments.

The product to be noted in the OLED TV market is the newly launched 48-inch product. 48-inch OLED TV, introduced as a gaming TV at CES2020, is expected to be in high demand in Japan. Sony’s OLED TV sales are expected to increase.

Chinese panel makers are very active in producing OLEDs for watches. The watch uses a small display of 1 to 1.5 inches, but the rigid OLED price is very expensive, at about $ 10 to 15 dollars. Chinese panel makers account for 43.3% of the 70 million OLED panel shipments in 2019. However, Korean companies that supply expensive flexible OLEDs to Samsung Electronics and Apple account for 65.3% of sales.

JDI at Japan signed a $1 billion investment contract and focused on automobile LCDs and finger sensors rather than OLEDs.

Japan Display (JDI) announced on the Jan. 31st that they have signed a final contract to receive investment of up to 108 billion yen (980 million dollar) from Ichigo Asset Management. Therefore, the company is expected to release its debts and invest in new fields such as fingerprint sensors. However, it has yet to be determined whether JDI will invest in OLED for Smartphones.

 

It will take over preferred shares at 50.4 billion yen and secure 44 percent of voting rights to become the largest shareholder. The remaining 50.4 billion yen will take over preferred shares that do not have voting rights, but after one year, it will be possible to convert ordinary shares, which will result in more than a majority of Ichigo’s voting rights. Scott Caron, the CEO of Ichigo, will be Chairman of JDI after approval. JDI plans to hold an extraordinary shareholders’ meeting on March 25 to get the official approval and receive the funds on March 26 the same day.

 

JDI is supplying liquid crystal panels for the iPhone to Apple, but JDI needs a new revenue source as Apple is set to hire more OLED panels in the mid- and long-term. JDI plans to use funds from Ichiro to invest in facilities such as LCDs for automobile and fingerprint sensors. In an interview in September 19, JDI’s CEO Kikuoka said, “We will decide whether or not to mass-produce OLED panels for smartphones in 2020,” but this investment is not expected to be easy.

<JDI president Kikuoka (left) and Ichigo CEO Scott Caron (Nikkei.com)>

Motorola unveils clamshell-type foldable OLED smartphone

Reporter : Daejeong Yoon

Motorola unveiled “ Moto RAZR 2019 ”, a clamshell type foldable OLED smartphone at a presentation to be held in Los Angeles, USA on November 13th. The Motorola RAZR is characterized by the folding in the horizontal direction rather than the vertical folding like a book, and is like the new foldable phone type that Samsung Electronics unveiled at SDC 2019 last October.

<Moto RAZR 2019, Source: gsmarena.com>

Moto RAZR 2019 will be equipped with a 6.2-inch OLED and the vendor will be BOE. OLEDs are notched, with an aspect ratio of 22: 9 and a resolution of 2142 x 876. In addition, the external LCD is equipped with a 2.7-inch, 600 x 800 resolution secondary LCD to provide simple information such as reminders and time.

Moto RAZR 2019 will be equipped with three cameras, with 4GB / 6GB RAM, 128GB of storage, 2730mAh and an operating system of Android.

Moto RAZR 2019 is expected to cost USD 1,500 and is expected to be officially released in December.

Rigid OLEDs dominate shipments of the OLED market for smartphones

Reporter : Daejeong Yoon

According to UBI Research’s 4th quarter OLED display market track, rigid OLED is still the main product in the OLED market for smartphones, with 79.2% of the total OLED market in 2019. As a result of counting and analyzing shipments up to the third quarter of 2019, rigid OLED accounted for 237 million units of the total shipment of 338 million units.

<Source: UBI Research Q4 OLED Market Track>

Display companies all over the world have invested heavily in the flexible OLED line, but rigid OLED is still the main OLED used in smartphones. This reflects that the display companies have invested without forecasting the market situation properly.

Rigid OLEDs for smartphones are mostly supplied by Samsung Display. Rigid OLEDs are also produced in China’s Visionox and EDO, but are not yet available to brand companies. As the A1 and A2 lines, which produce rigid OLEDs at Samsung Display, are both in full operation, Samsung Display can no longer supply products in the growing rigid OLED market.

Flexible OLED lines will continue to be invested by 2023, and the annual production area will increase to 20 million square meters per year, but the line capa for rigid OLEDs has been frozen since 7 million square meters per year.

<Source: UBI Research Q4 OLED Market Track>

Therefore, in order to cope with the growing rigid OLED market, it is necessary to convert flexible lines to rigid OLED lines or to further invest in rigid OLED lines.

In order for Samsung Display to dominate and have a differentiated market in the display industry, it is time for latecomers to consider converting flexible OLED lines to rigid OLED lines.

OLED flagship size for smartphones ranges from 5.5 inches to 6.5 inches

Reporter : Daejeong Yoon

According to UBI Research’s 3rd quarter OLED display market track, the size of OLED for smartphones is gradually shifting from 5.5~5.99 inches to 6~6.49 inches.

Among the OLED shipments for smartphones of 430 million units in 2017, 5.5-5.99 inches accounted for 52.5%, but in the shipment performance until the third quarter of 2019, 5.5-5.99 inches decreased to 49.6% and 6-6.49 inches increased to 42.3%.

In 2017, more than 5.5 inches of OLED smartphones were 78.5%, but now more than 5.5 inches are 91.9%. This reflects that consumers are demanding larger OLED smartphones.

 

When analyzed by detailed size, 5.5-inch OLED shipments were the most at 39.5%, and second, 6.4-inch OLEDs were the highest at 20.1%. Most of the 5.5-inch are rigid OLEDs and are mainly used by Galaxy J series, Chinese companies such as Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo. In the 6.4 inch, the main application is the rigid OLED for the Galaxy A series.

<Source: UBI Research Q3 OLED Market Track>

Because the Galaxy S series, which adopts flexible OLED, and Apple’s iPhone X are very expensive in the global OLED smartphone market, the market growth is very slow. In comparison, the Galaxy A series and J series are growing fast because they are intended for the mid-priced smartphone market.

 

While Samsung’s Galaxy has lost market share in the Chinese market, Chinese smartphone makers Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo are expanding the Chinese market as smartphones using rigid OLEDs from Samsung Display.

This means that Samsung Electronics lost the Chinese market, but Samsung Display’s OLED business is gradually expanding its influence in the Chinese market. The growing market share of OLED smartphones in the Chinese smartphone market indicates that Samsung Display can overwhelm the OLED market in the future, and that revenues will be updated every year.

Flexible OLED market forecast to grow to $ 18.3 billion this year

Reporter : Daejeong Yoon

As foldable smartphones begin to be sold by Samsung Electronics, the flexible OLED industry (including foldable OLED) is expected to continue to grow.

Yi Choonghoon, CEO of UBI Research, predicts that the flexible OLED panel market will grow to $ 18.92 billion this year and expand to $ 32.65 billion by 2023.

<Source: Flexible & Foldable OLED Report, UBI Research>

According to Yi, there are four types of flexible OLED products, including smartphones, foldable phones, watches and automobiles, and flexible OLEDs will be used in the monitor market next year. LG Electronics began to sell rollable OLED TVs, but the sales volume is so small that it will take much time to form the market. The foldable smartphones that Samsung started to sell are expected to be supplied to the market by 800,000 by the end of this year.

In addition, Yi predicted that Chinese panel companies’ flexible line production will expand very rapidly in line with the expansion of the flexible OLED market.

As of 2019, Korean display companies have an annual substrate area of 7.3 million square meters and China’s 4.6 million square meters, but by 2023, China’s production capacity will expand to 11 million square meters, accounting for 57% of the total production capacity.

China is expected to have the world’s largest facility for flexible OLED production following LCD.

<Source: Flexible & Foldable OLED Report, UBI Research>

Samsung Display starts to expand OLED notebook market in Taiwan

Samsung Display attended the Taipei Grand Maple Hotel on November 7, attended by 350 global customers including HP, Dell, Lenovo, Asus and other major ODMs such as Compal, Quanta and Wistron. ‘Samsung OLED Forum 2019 Taipei’ was held.

<Samsung Display’s OLED Forum, Source: news.samsungdisplay.com>

Samsung Display presented OLED notebooks as a new growth engine in the stagnant IT market for global IT companies and introduced differentiated strengths that only OLED can provide.

Under the theme of ‘New Era of Laptop with OLED’, Samsung Display is a premium notebook with OLED’s thin and light design flexibility, infinite contrast ratio, DCI-P3 100% wide color gamut and color accuracy, and excellent outdoor visibility. Emphasis is placed on the essential image quality characteristics.

In addition, the company also unveiled a roadmap for fusion technology of OLED’s unique display sensors such as Fingerprint Display and Sound Display.

Samsung Display has already developed OLED for 13.3-inch and 15.6-inch notebooks in the first half of this year and has cooperated with HP, Dell, Lenovo, and Asus to supply panels to 13 kinds of notebooks. The company plans to expand its product lineup to mid-end and respond to market demand.

<15.6-inch multi-screen OLED notebook exhibited by Samsung display at IMID 2019>

Samsung Display decided to invest 13 trillion won in QD-OLED by 2025

Samsung Display chose QD-OLED as the next generation premium TV. It will also have a big impact on the premium TV market, which is divided between white OLED technology and QLED technology.

 

Samsung Display announced a new investment and win-win cooperation agreement ceremony at Asan Campus on October 10 and will invest a total of KRW 13 trillion in QD-OLED production facilities and R & D by 2025.

 

The basic structure of QD-OLED is composed of blue OLED and red and green quantum dot color filters (QD-CF). Blue OLEDs emit blue light, and the red and green QD-CFs convert them to red and green, respectively. QD is also applied to QLEDs because it has the effect of further improving color purity.

Samsung Display will invest 13 trillion won by 2025 to build the world’s first QD display mass production line ‘Q1 Line’ at Asan Campus. The new line will start production in full scale in 2021 with an initial 30,000 sheets (8.5 generations) and will produce a 65-inch or larger ultra-large QD display. To this end, the company plans to convert existing 8G LCD lines into QD OLED lines step by step and gradually expand production capacity by 2025.

 

In addition, in order to accelerate the commercialization of new QD technology, the company plans to shift the existing LCD workforce to QD and hire new QD materials and process development experts. Samsung Display predicted that if investments start in earnest, approximately 81,000 jobs will be created over the next five years.

 

Lee Dong-hoon, president of Samsung Display, emphasized that “QD, a semiconductor particle that emits light close to natural colors, is the future growth vision of the large display industry.” “We will lead the premium display market with this investment.”

LG Display Announces Q3 2019 Results, Revenue 5,817.2 Billion won, Operating Loss 436.7 Billion won

LG Display announced on the 23rd that it recorded sales of 5,827.1 billion won and operating loss of 436.7 billion won in the third quarter of 2019 according to K-IFRS.

Revenue increased 9% QoQ (5.35 trillion won) due to the full-fledged sales of plastic OLED business and the expansion of mobile panel sales.

On the other hand, 3Q operating loss fell last quarter due to a sharp drop in LCD TV panel prices that exceeded market expectations, reduced utilization of related fabs, and increased depreciation expenses associated with the operation of new plastic OLED plants. The operating loss recorded 436.7 billion won.

Net loss was 442.2 billion won and EBITDA was 611.8 billion won (EBITDA margin of 10.5%).

Revenue breakdown in the third quarter of 2019 recorded 32%, a 9% QoQ decline for TV panels due to a decline in shipments due to adjustments in LCD TV fab utilization. Mobile panels recorded 28%, up 9% p QoQ, due to full-scale production of plastic OLED panels. Notebook and tablet panels accounted for 21 percent and monitor panels 18 percent.

Dong-hee Seo, Executive Vice President of LG Display CFO, said, “LG Display is innovating its business structure to reinforce its fundamental competitiveness and have a differentiated competitive edge.” In addition, the company plans to find ways to secure competitiveness from a more fundamental and long-term perspective, while at the same time strengthening its IT, commercial (auto) and auto (business) business capabilities that can differentiate in the existing LCD sector. Large OLEDs will accelerate the market trend utilizing the inherent value of products and continue to stabilize the business of plastic OLEDs for smartphones. ”

In addition, “We will communicate with the market by establishing a long-term vision centering on technologies and product lines that can quickly complete the ongoing LCD structure improvement activities and provide differentiated value.”

[SID Vehicle Display 2019] OLED is optimal for side mirror replacement display

In October 2018, Samsung Display received a lot of attention by supplying OLED for side mirror replacement to e-Tron of Audi, a global automaker. e-Tron has a camera installed in the side of the existing side mirror, and the driver can check the surroundings through the OLED installed in the vehicle.

Mirrorless cars were discussed at the SID Vehicle Display 2019 panel discussion in September 2019.

Drew Harbach pointed out that “existing side mirrors may have the effect of glare in tunnel-like spaces.” “The cameras and displays can be reduced to provide a better night view.”

He mentioned that the resolution of the display is important, of course, but the contrast and FOV are also very important factors. He also emphasized that the contrast ratio should be very high so that objects can be seen under any environmental conditions.

The high contrast ratio is a very helpful factor in recognizing objects not only in dark nights but also under the strong sunlight of the day.

Panelists mentioned the various displays such as LCD, OLED, micro LED, etc., but OLED is the only display with high contrast ratio and wide viewing angle in the environment where mass production is possible. In addition, OLED has a very fast response time, which is widely used in VR devices and professional monitors where image quality is very important.

OLEDs are mentioned as potential candidates for side-mirror displays and are expected to be used in internal displays, such as clusters and CIDs (center information displays). Korean and Chinese panel makers are actively developing automotive OLEDs, and Samsung Display has forecast that automotive OLED panels will increase to about 3 million by 2022.

Second quarter OLED emitting materials market grew 41.1% compared to the same quarter last year

According to the OLED emitting material market track published by UBI Research (www.ubiresearch.com), the second quarter earnings was $ 329 million, an increase of 16.6% compared with the previous quarter’s $ 228 million, and 41.1% higher than the second quarter’s $ 233 million.

<Source: 3Q2019 UBI Research OLED Emitting Material Market Track>

As a light emitting materials company with high sales in the second quarter, UDC accounted for 22.7% of the total market with US $ 72.7 million, with Idemitsu Kosan 12%, Merck, Dow Chemical, and Novaled more than 10%. None of the Korean emitting material companies exceeded 10% market share.

UDC’s strongest sales were due to the 6-month-long purchase of dopant material from the BOE, which anticipates it will be difficult to purchase phosphorescent dopant materials in the US-China trade dispute. The phosphorescent red host, phosphorescent green host, and p + materials all exceeded $ 30 million.

According to the analysis of the material usage, the total material usage of the second quarter was 21.3 tons, 21% more than the previous quarter, and 49% higher than the same quarter last year. The high usage of materials compared to the amount is interpreted as a result of a slight decrease in prices as Chinese panel makers use more materials.

OLED sales increased to $ 6.9 billion in the second quarter

According to the OLED market track published by UBI Research in the third quarter, OLED sales increased to $ 6.9 billion in the second quarter. This is an increase of 9.5% compared to last quarter, an increase of 18.5% from the same quarter last year.

The biggest reason for the increase in sales is the increase in OLED sales to China by Samsung Display, which leads the OLED industry. Huawei, Oppo, Vivo, and Xiomi’s OLED usage increased more than 1.5 times compared to last year, and Samsung Display’s sales in the second quarter were $ 5.5 billion. In addition, LG Display’s WRGB OLED sales growth and BOE’s flexible OLED sales boosted the market to $ 6.9 billion.

Samsung Display’s sales share accounted for 79.9% and BOE’s market share increased to 6%.

<Source: 3Q2019 UBI Research OLED Market Track>

In 3Q, sales are expected to increase further. Samsung Display’s flexible OLED shipments will increase further for Apple’s new models and Huawei’s Mate. LG Display will also begin supplying flexible OLEDs to Apple, and BOE has decided to supply flexible OLEDs to LG Electronics.

Samsung and LG fight for 8K TV picture quality

In response to 8K LCD TV quality disputes that LG Electronics compared and exhibited at IFA2019, Samsung Electronics raised the problem of burning of OLED TVs.

At the exhibition hall, LG Electronics displayed the same screen on its NanoCell 8K LCD TV and other companies’ 8K LCD TVs, and magnified images taken by precision cameras on the same screen area, allowing 90% reproduction of CM (contrast modulation) of NanoCell TV. However, it emphasized that other companies’ 8K LCD TV is only 12%. The company did not say what kind of company it was, but LG was recently emphasized that LG Electronics disassembled Samsung’s QLED TV after IFA and talked that QD-LCD using QD sheet does not produce good image quality. Thus the other 8K can be estimated as SEC’s QLED TV.

In response, Samsung Electronics publicly reported to the press that 8K OLED TVs disappear due to image sticking.

There is a very confusing dispute for consumers who do not have expertise in picture quality. Putting the two companies together, Samsung’s 8K QLED TV and OLED TV are both less qualified products.

In reality, however, the two products seen by the IFA were among the best of all existing TVs. OLED TVs have very high contrast ratios, so even in two-dimensional flat screens, the perspective is displayed as well as three-dimensional TVs. QLED TVs have very high HDR, which are delicately expressed from bright to dark screens. Also, the two products must be TVs with the highest precision at 8K resolution.

Korean media have expressed a lot of negative views about noise marketing of Samsung and LG, but it seems that the two companies’ TVs have been developed.

In fact, when Apple criticized the Galaxy for its low resolution, Samsung Electronics has grown to the world’s best product by raising the resolution of OLED to QHD level. In addition, Samsung Electronics made a negative offensive by pointing to the burning of OLED TVs, but OLED TVs expanded the market to nearly 50% of the premium TV market of more than $ 2,000. Of course, most of the burning has been eliminated.

Therefore, Samsung Electronics is also expected to be an opportunity to grow 8K QLED TV’s image quality into the world’s best LCD TV.

The two companies have a negative fight because of their own grievances. If OLED TV market share continues to rise in the premium TV market, Samsung Electronics expressed a sense of crisis as the QLED TV market shrank by that much. If 8K QLED TVs lower prices and target the premium TV market, LG Electronics should prevent the expansion of the QLED TV market in order to accelerate the growth of the OLED TV market.

In a strategy battle in which the spear and shield alternate, the TV fight of the two companies will be a good opportunity for Korean TV to maintain the world’s best level.

[China OLED Trends] Will US-China Trade Dispute Accelerate Chinese Large-Size OLED Market?

Recently, due to the trade dispute between the US and China, a large portion of the budget planned by the Chinese government is flowing into the display industry while the semiconductor industry, which is one of intensive investment promotion industries, foreshadows difficulties. In the display industry, the focus is on OLED, which is a cutting-edge technology, and most of the investment is in the 6G line, a mobile product production line. This year has already been made at Visionox and Tianma on the 6G line, and BOE and CSOT will be invested further this year.

The Chinese government is actively investing in the display sector, which is relatively uncontained due to trade disputes between the United States and China, and it is reported that the mobile OLED production line as well as the large OLED line, 8.5G and 10.5G lines, are being reviewed ahead of time.

Large OLED lines are currently being mass-produced only by LG Display, and are being produced using oxide TFT and white OLED deposition. Samsung Display is also considering mass production by adding QD structures to oxide TFT and blue-based OLED deposition.

Samsung and LG are preparing to mass-produce or mass-produce by applying heat deposition method to organic materials, but Chinese OLED panel makers are oriented to mass production line of RGB Inkjet method (Solution Process OLED). However, as the investment has accelerated recently, experts are concerned about the investment of RGB inkjet method which has not been mass-proven.

This is because LG Display’s white OLED deposition method has already been mass-proven and Samsung Display is also planning to invest in the same deposition method with only the different structure. Indeed, it is necessary to see whether Chinese OLED panel makers will move beyond the second-place strategy to adopt the RGB Inkjet method or change their direction to the deposition method, a proven technology.

2019 Solution Process OLED Annual Report

Solution process using inkjet OLED (sol OLED) has been developed mainly as a large OLED panel for TV, but recently began to attract attention in the monitor display market.

The evaporation method with FMM that produces OLED for smartphones has a bending phenomenon of FMM. Thus, the substrate is used by dividing into two or four. Since smartphone-sized FMMs are used by attaching 10 to 15 sheets to the mask frame, the profitability is very low due to the small number of cells in the production of 20-inch or larger monitors.

In comparison, sol OLED is a highly productive method because OLED can be manufactured from the original substrate regardless of substrate size and display size.

If the 27-inch and 32-inch OLED panels, which are mainly used as gaming monitors, are produced by the FMM method, four can be produced. But sol OLEDs do not divide the substrate, so the 27-inch can make eight, and the 32-inch can make six.

Therefore, in the future, OLED manufacturing technology is expected to be used in combination of three technologies depending on the application and size. Smartphone OLEDs are expected to be divided into FMM and evaporation methods, large OLED panel manufacturing for TVs with open mask and evaporation technology, and sol OLED technology for monitors larger than 25 inches.

There are three types of premium monitor market, LCD, RGB OLED, and sol OLED, but the premium OLED monitor market will be replaced by sol OLED. If 6G-class inkjet lines are invested in large quantities, sol OLED will become the flagship product in the mid-priced monitor market.

The solution process OLED annual report, published by UBI Research (www.ubiresearch.com), expects to create a market of $ 579 million by 2023. This amount represents 85.3% of the OLED monitor market by 2023.

[2019 OLED KOREA] LG Display “8K is not everything. OLED will prove worth it”

“8K is not everything. OLEDs will provide new value not only in high resolution, but also in rollable typed and transparent displays ”

said Ko Kyoung Young, senior director of global promotion for LG Display’s TV division.
He emphasized this at the 2019 OLED KOREA held, the Novotel Hotel in Gangnam from March 6 to 7, 2019.

“Currently, 8K TVs are not attractive due to not ready for content and proper pricing” said Goh. However, OLEDs can provide new value, such as rollable and transparent displays, “he said that OLEDs will be the game changers of the future display era.

“The premium TV market which has been downsizing since 2014, started grow again in 2017 due to entering a new market of OLED TVs. In addition, we see OLED TV is leading the market last three years through it has been ranked from top to the 8th in the consumer reports , increase of global growth opportunities”

He also mentioned the OLED approach would overcome the scalability limitations that could be the best communication tool available anywhere in the fourth industry market. In addition, it can be applied to gaming monitors and automotive displays that are becoming bigger and bigger. “Global automobile companies such as BMW and Audi are in discussions with understanding display companies to apply OLED to future vehicles.” Director Ko said, to lead the premium TV market, we will support to boost production for large-scaled OLEDs by 2021, the expansion of the 4K and 8K

OLED TV lineups, and the creation of new platforms such as rollable and transparent displays.  Notably he said, “8K OLED TV is planned to be 88, 77 and 65 inches, and 4Ks will be expanded to 77 inches, 65, 55 and 48 inches.”

Lastly, Ko announced that will continue to study OLED resolution and brightness lifetime through the development of oxide TFT and new materials along with transparent display and solar technology for the future.

[MWC 2019] The new form factor, foldable phone wars heat up

Reporter : Daejeong Yoon

Smartphone makers are promoting the new form factor, foldable phones at MWC 2019 started on February 27 and it runs until 29 in Barcelona Spain.

The show is buzzing with products from big-name tech companies, including Samsung Electronics and Huawei,TCL, LG Electronics being unveiled. That includes a variety of phones with foldable screens.

Samsung unveiled foldable phone ‘Galaxy Fold’ to customer, highly touted at the Samsung Galaxy unpacked event.

In folding ‘Galaxy Fold’ features a 7.3-inch QXGA + resolution OLED screen and it was built to be compact size with 4.6-inch HD + resolution OLED when folded.

 

And Huawei announced its own foldable phone “Mate X” uses roll out foldable technology, it is surrounded by a 6.6-inch main OLED on the front and a 6.38-inch on the back. It is 8.7 inches when it is opened, 1.4 inches bigger than Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy Fold.

Mate X’s front display has 2480 × 1148 resolution with a 19.5: 9 aspect ratio. The back OLED has a 2480 × 892 resolution with a 25: 9 aspect ratio. When you flip it open, the resolution is 2480 × 2200 with an aspect ratio of 8: 7.1. .

 

Also, TCL announced the prototype device uses the company’s proprietary “DragonHinge” mechanism to fold and unfold the screen, it has 7.2-inch screen.

According to TCL, this device will build a production version that is slated for release by 2021.

Lastly, LG showed off V50 which is similar to a folding phone, it does have an optional case with a whole second screen on it. With two near-identical phone displays next to each other, the functional split-screen allows multitasking and gaming easily.

What is the cost of OLED materials for the Galaxy F?

What will be the price of foldable phone Galaxy F, which is expected to be on the market this year, is a concern for people around the world. Samsung Display is the only company that can mass-produce Foldable OLEDs with in-folding type used by Galaxy F.

Galaxy F with 7.29-inch OLED is a digital convergence product that can simultaneously target the smartphone and tablet PC market. The initial sale price will be around $ 2,000, and the estimated sales volume is about 1 million units this year.

The OLED industry is interested in how much the Galaxy F’s foldable OLED panels (including modules) will cost.

According to UBI Research’s material cost analysis data, Samsung Display’s foldable OLED material cost is 2.04 times higher than the Galaxy S10 5.8 inch. This is because the display area has increased, and the yield has been reduced.

Galaxy F, Galaxy S10, and iPhone XS’s flexible OLED material cost analysis shows that the module cost of iPhone XS is the highest at 95.2%, Galaxy S10 at 92.2% and Galaxy F at 89.3%.

[Press Release] AMOLED sales to reach USD 32.2 billion in 2019, up 13.8% from 2018

UBI Research (CEO, Yi, Choonghoon) published the annual OLED report in 2019.

According to the report, the OLED market is expected to reach $ 32.2 billion in 2019 and 13.8% market growth. The market growth is due to the launch of a variety of applications in 2019. Foldable OLED will accelerate the growth of the flexible OLED market as a convergence product that fuses smartphones and tablet PCs, and 8K OLEDs and rollable OLEDs to be launched from 2H 2019 will further solidly support the premium OLED TV market. In addition, an increase in flexible OLED shipments due to improved yields by Chinese panel makers will support growth in the Chinese OLED market.

AMOLED revenue in the fourth quarter of 2018 was $ 7.9 billion, down 3.7% from $ 8.2 billion in the third quarter and down 10.4% from $ 8.8 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017. The quarterly OLED market was highly volatile due to sales fluctuations at Samsung Display.

Revenue in 2018 was $ 28.3 billion, up 7.1% from $ 26.4 billion in 2017. The growth slowed suddenly compared to growth of 58.7% in 2017. The sluggish growth is attributable to the sluggish OLED smartphone market, which drove the OLED market up until now. The OLED market for smartphones, which was worth $ 24.2 billion in 2017, was only $ 24.5 billion in 2018.

Flexible OLED panels are not being adopted in mid-end smartphones due to the high cost of manufacturing flexible OLED panels for smartphones. As a result, the oversupply will continue due to lack of demand compared to the 6G flexible OLED investment. In the fourth quarter of 2018, there was an oversupply of 31%. In the first quarter of 2019, oversupply will increase to 39% by overlapping seasonal demand decline.

LG Display “OLED TV will account for more than 20% in total TV sales revenue.”

LG Display OLED TV maintained sales revenue, it through conference call, stated it recorded annual sales revenue of 24.3 trillion won and 92.9 billion won operating profit in year of 2018.

LG Display despite of heightened global competition and downward panel price made an operating profit thanks to OLED TV, super large size TV and high resolution products.

Especially large size OLED TV maintained stable productivity and enlarged consumer bracket which enabled 2.9 million shipment on a yearly basis. It recorded gross profit within 5 years of product introduction which resulted in more than 20% in total sales revenue.

4th quarter 2018 revenue of LG display marked 6.95 trillion won TV panels accounts for 36%, mobile panels 28%, notebook and tablet panels 22% and 14% for monitor panels.

Operating profit recorded 279 billion won, 528% increase compared to the same quarter last year, 99% hike compared to last quarter thanks to high priced IT products, new introductions of small and medium size products and high added value products. LG Display aims to focus on OLED business reconstruction Seo Donghee CFO of the company said, “the ratio of OLED revenue was almost nothing 5years ago, now it is 30% this year and we estimate it is going to reach 50% of the total business.”

He also said “we will put in all assets to create new values focusing on OLED business.”

He replied to the question of large size QD-OLED of competitor, it will strengthen ecosystem and overall OLED industry. To the question of 8K and over 70inch large size OLED mass production, he replied that 8K technology is already secured as exhibited at CES2019 and said that large size OLED mass production will utilize the existing know-how of LCD production. In 2019, LG Display’s OLED demand outlook question suggests that demand for more than 14% of all flexible OLED smartphones is expected.

Regarding the large-area OLED and p OLED capacity in 2019, LGD said that the large-area OLED capacity will be completed at 70K per month in Paju and 60K in Q3 in Guangzhou, China and the pOLED capacity is expected to add 30K to the domestic 45K in 2020.

He announced that capex is estimated 8trillion won in 2019 and 4trillion won in 2020, a half of this year. 60% will be for large size OLED and 40% for pOLED. And he said pOLED mass production is currently concentrated on smart phone and cars. He expects good news from car pOLED by end of this year. He also targets over 3.8 million units large size OLED production this year.

 

LG Display Vice Chairman Han Sang-Bum, “50% of sales of OLED and upbringing business in 2020”

Growing into the mainstream of OLED growth by expanding large OLED, differentiated products and supply

■ Small and Medium-sized POLED, strengthening fundamental business capacity and preparing future products such as Foldable

■ Develop commercial and automotive products, new technologies / new markets and develop into first-class business

LG Display is one of the world’s largest electronics exhibitors, and will hold a press conference at the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) in Las Vegas on June 7, the day before the opening of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) with Han vice chairman, executive vice president Kang In-Byoung, Strategy and Marketing Group Director Song Young-kwon, and other executives.

At the meeting, Han Sang-bum said, “Although there were many difficulties due to excessive supply and enormous investment due to intensified global competition last year, large-sized OLED business turned to surplus and stable profit was generated mainly in high value-added products. “This year, LG Display will focus on OLED investments, accelerating OLED growth, and focus on commercial and automotive businesses. By 2020, LGD will account for more than 50% of total OLED and growth businesses. “He said.

To this end, LG Display plans to expand its large-size OLED market, strengthen its fundamental business capabilities in small- and mid-sized P-OLED (plastic OLED) businesses, and develop new markets with differentiated commercial and automotive products.

■ Large OLED, differentiated products and supply expansion

Since LG Display first supplied OLED TV panels in 2013, LG Display has continued to develop its technology. And last year, it sold nearly 3 million units and developed into a strong player in the premium TV market. This year, the company plans to expand its TV product lineup from the existing 4K resolution to 8K, and to further enhance its competitiveness by further enhancing performance such as luminance and response time. In addition, the company will expand its market by expanding differentiated products such as wall paper, CSO (Crystal Sound OLED), rollable and transparent display. LG Display will complete the G8.5 OLED panel factory in Guangzhou, China in the first half of this year, and mass-produce OLED from the third quarter. Through this, the company plans to expand its sales volume from 2.9 million units in 2018 to 4 million units this year, and to achieve more than 10 million units in 2021.

In addition, LGD will expand sales areas for existing customers, strengthen collaboration with strategic customers, and increase sales of premium products such as ultra-large size panel.

■ Small and mid-sized P-OLED, strengthening fundamental business capacity and preparing future products.

LG Display is targeting the small- and mid-sized OLED market through P-OLED.

This year, it is a great challenge to develop core technologies and products for strategic customers in a timely to raise market share of small- and medium-sized panel.

In addition, LGD plans to increase the production capacity of the Gen 6 Gumi factory, which has a capacity of 15,000 sheets per month, and to expand the P-OLED production capacity by early stabilizing the Gen 6 factory in Paju.

In addition, LGD plans to steadily prepare related technologies and infrastructure so that future products such as Foldable can be released on time.

■ Commercial and automotive displays, Fostering first-class business

LG Display nurtures the rapidly growing commercial and automotive businesses to first-class business.

In the commercial market, LGD plans to pursue differentiated products such as 98 and 86 inches, ultra-slim products such as in-touch, bezel of 0.44 mm, transparent and gaming.

For automobiles, LTPS-based high-resolution LCDs and P-OLEDs are expected to focus on 8-inch and larger screens and high-resolution products. In addition, LGD will prepare its production infrastructure to expand its business in a timely manner and further strengthen its cost competitiveness, thereby achieving the first place in the fast growing auto market.

This year LGD plans to complete investment in preparation for the future, which began in 2017. LGD Han Sang-Bum, vice chairman of LG Display, said, “LG Display will be able to lead the global display market once again with OLED.

[28TH FINETECH JAPAN] Denso, Automotive displays that are directly connected to safety are OLED

Reporter : Daejeong Yoon

At the 28th FINETECH JAPAN held in Makuhari Messe, Japan during December 5-7, 2018, Hiroyuki Hara, manager of Denso said that OLED will be used as future automotive displays due to their various advantages.

Hara refers to the large screen including the touch panel as the latest trend of automobile display, and now LCD is mainly used. However, OLED is expected to be used more and more in automobiles as the automotive electronics makers and drivers demand high-quality displays.

Saying that key elements in automotive displays are high contrast ratio, wide viewing angle, design autonomy, light weight, low reflection and reliability, Hara emphasized that the display that can satisfy all of these key elements is OLED. In addition, the factors related to image quality such as contrast ratio and viewing angle are directly related to safety for the driver. Thus, OLED is to be adopted more. Referring to the requirements of automotive OLED, he finally commented that improving reliability, such as lowering the luminance drop due to temperature changes and preventing damage to OLED due to high humidity, will be key to OLED for its entry into the automotive display market.

The automotive display is likely to lead the market for next-generation displays following mobile devices and TVs. Various OLED panel makers such as BOE and Visionox, as well as LG Display and Samsung Display, are showing automotive displays at domestic and international exhibitions. Denso also invested Japanese yen 30 billion in JOLED early 2018 to compete with Korean panel makers. Meanwhile, the market for OLED displays for automobiles led by Samsung Display and LG Display is expected to grow to US$ 540 million in 2023 according to UBI Research’s recently published “Automotive OLED Display Report”.

[28TH FINETECH JAPAN] JDI and JOLED, announced Strengthening Cooperation for Mid-sized OLED Market

At the 28th FINETECH JAPAN held in Tokyo, Japan from December 5 to 7, 2018, JDI and JOLED announced that they would intensify their cooperation in order to target the middle-sized OLED market.

JDI announced that it will actively promote JOLED’s solution process OLED to medium-sized OLED markets such as industrial display markets or automotive display markets through its own design know-how, production infrastructure, and sales channels,.

In particular, JDI announced that it will provide new value to next-generation automotive fields along with JOLED such as support for safety such as electronic mirrors and displays for A/B pillars, new interface functions, movie appreciation using 4-8K displays, and the displays that are harmonized with interior design such as curved surfaces and big screens.

JDI and JOLED also shared booths for exhibition. JOLED introduced 21.6-inch FHD OLED monitors for e-sports and medical applications. In addition, it introduced a number of medium-sized OLEDs such as 12.3-inch HD OLED for automobiles, 12.2-inch FHD flexible OLED, 27-inch 4K OLED for home interior, and 21.6-inch 4K flexible OLED with cylindrical form. It also showcased large OLEDs such as 54.6 inch 4K OLED.

On the other hand, JOLED announced in July, 2018 that it would open its Nomi office for mass production of solution process OLED. Based on 5.5 generation glass substrates, Nomi has production capacity of 20,000 glass substrates per month and plans to mass-produce in 2020.

[Press Release] Foldable OLED Market Grows Fast to US$ 24.6 Billion by 2023

Reporter & Analyst : Daejeong Yoon

5G communication technology introduced from next year can process higher image quality and large-capacity contents such as VR more rapidly, besides real-time streaming service. As the communication speed increases, the relevant contents, are expected to be released, which require high resolution and large screen with graphics detailed.

The current smart phone is getting bigger up to 6 inches, but it is not enough for 4K resolution of 5G communication age. Since 4K resolution is to be possible at 7-inch and larger displays, they might be the most suitable product for the 5G communication era. Foldable smart phones are digital convergence products that can function as smart phones and tablet PCs as the next generation mobile devices that use 7 inch or more displays but maximize portability.

Owing to foldable OLED, foldable smart phones are likely to be available. Several companies have rushed to produce various prototype foldable OLED displays at exhibitions and conferences. A few panel makers even pledged to mass-produce foldable OLED displays competitively. OLED display companies worldwide including Samsung Display have invested enormous development costs in order to preempt the next generation product market, and now foldable OLEDs are starting to appear.

Samsung Electronics, which is leading the OLED smart phone market, is planned to launch the in-folding type foldable phone for the first time in the world next year. Accordingly, Samsung Display has prepared 1.5R foldable OLED. For Samsung Electronics, which has suffered sluggish sales of the Galaxy S series, Foldable Phone is a super premium product that needs to be succeeded.

<Expected structure of Samsung Electronics’ in-folding type foldable phone>

Source: Foldable OLED Report, UBI research

 

UBI Research (CEO: Yi, Choong-hoon), an OLED research institute, has published Foldable OLED Report. According to the report, the market for foldable OLED in 2019 is only US$ 480 million, but it is expected to grow to US $ 24.6 billion in 2023.

Yi said, “The rapid growth of the foldable OLED market is due to the fact that 7-inch and larger smartphones, which can support 4K resolution, become required products in the 5G communication era. Accordingly, the value of OLED panel makers will be determined by the success of foldable OLED production.”

 

<Foldable OLED Market Forecast>
Source: Foldable OLED Report, UBI Research

However, foldable OLED is not a product that anyone can produce. Since foldable OLED has a more complex module structure than conventional flexible OLED, it is necessary to overcome the changes in various panel characteristics caused by folding. Especially in in-folding type foldable OLED, compensation circuit technology to overcome TFT resistance change and resilience required when folding and unfolding screen are typical technical difficulties. In order to realize this technology, the key challenges of reducing stress at the area of folding, selecting a proper substrate, determining the ideal stack structure, and optimizing the liftoff process, need to be overcome. Even when folding over 200,000 times, it is required to have reliability that there will be no abnormality on display image quality and surface.

“Foldable OLED Report” published by UBI Research analyzes the development trends of panel makers together with the development issues of major films that determine the reliability of foldable OLED.

JOLED, introduced many inkjet OLED technologies

This was the first time for JOLED to demonstrate its products and technologies at FINETECH Japan 2018.

JOLED, which received the inkjet OLED technology from Panasonic and is doing OLED panel business, has been selling medical monitors since early this year. Next year, Asus is also scheduled to sell inkjet OLED TVs made by JOLED.

Its exhibited products include medical OLED monitor, OLED monitor for games, automotive OLED and 3 kinds of OLED TVs.

 

JOLED’s Inkjet OLEDs have a peak intensity of 350 nit. In case of full white, it is 140 nits, but has sufficient brightness for monitor applications.

JOLED will build mass production lines next year to produce OLEDs for 20-inch monitors and TVs as a full-scale. It also plans to start OLED business for automobiles after 2020.

JOLED is the only company producing OLED panels manufactured by inkjet technology. JOLED is also promoting the license business by providing this technology to Chinese, Japanese and Taiwanese panel makers.

[28TH FINETECH JAPAN] Sharp, announced Future Strategy Combining IGZO and OLED

Mr. Atsushi Ban, Vice President of Sharp presented a future strategy that combines IGZO and OLED through a keynote session at the 28th FINETECH JAPAN, held in Makuhari Messe, Japan from December 5, 2018.

Ban emphasized “The proportion of OLED in the entire display market is expected to grow even higher, and the new value of OLED is no different than flexibility.”

He said, “Sharp is also planning a variety of applications using the thin, light-weight and flexible characteristics of OLED. From the third quarter of 2018, its Taki plant has produced 4.5G backplanes and the Sakai plant is under injecting glass for OLED and module processing for 4.5G 15K quantity.”

 

 

Ban also pointed out the possibility of expanding the OLED industry through flexible OLED, commenting that Sharp’s next goal is to develop foldable OLED that combines IGZO. Sharp has pioneered a new display technology, called IGZO, which has been known for its semiconductor properties for years, but Sharp has developed a crystalline form that maximizes its benefits for greater display performance, and IGZO improves the performance of display panels in three significant ways: lower power consumption, higher resolution and special benefits for touch-sensitive displays. Ban expected that it could create new value if IGZO is combined with medium to large sized foldable OLED or rollable OLED.

 

Finally, Ban introduced Sharp’s IGZO development roadmap and announced that it will develop much improved IGZO.

Fingerprint full-screen smart phones begin to compete

Reporter : Daejeong Yoon

<Vivo’s full screen smart phone with in-display fingerprint scanner, Android authority>

The competition for front fingerprint recognition of smart phones is expected to become hot.

In the smart phone with the existing home button, the front fingerprint sensor was installed on the home button. Fingerprint security enhances security, but recently, full screen Smartphone without home button has been released and fingerprint sensor has been moved to the back of Smartphone. This has caused disadvantages such as an uncomfortable hand shape when touching a finger to the fingerprint sensor and fingerprints on the camera lens.

In order to improve these points and to implement a complete full-screen Smartphone, the development of integrating full-screen fingerprint recognition with display is continuing.

The method of full-screen fingerprint recognition is largely examined by both optical and ultrasonic methods. The optics are inexpensive and easy to mass-produce, but the OLED substrate must be transparent because the sensor is to be located below the OLED panel. Therefore, it is applicable to rigid OLED using glass as a substrate, but it is difficult to apply to flexible OLED using colored PI as a substrate. The ultrasonic method is most stable in accuracy and durability, but it has a disadvantage of high manufacturing cost.

Currently, Chinese set makers have begun to launch smart phones with optical front fingerprint recognition. The Galaxy S10, which will be released next year by Samsung Electronics, is being watched for the adoption of ultrasonic full-screen fingerprint recognition. LG Display is also developing a display with front fingerprint recognition.

As such, the sales for full-screen smart phones with front fingerprint recognition are expected to be started in earnest. Competition in the smartphone market is expected to become more intense in the second half.

Japan’s first flexible OLED, finally made its debut

Reporter & Analyst : Daejeong Yoon

Japan, which used to be the strongest country in display industry in the past, gradually declined through the era of CRT, PDP and LCD, and has fallen to the third-largest producer in OLED industry after China.
Currently, Japanese companies that produce AMOLEDs are Sony and JOLED. Both companies are producing OLED for special monitors at 500 ~ 1,000 units per month. Although JDI has developed flexile OLED, it has not commercialized yet.

Sharp has challenged the OLED market for smartphones in the current Japanese manufacturing environment, which was passive in production. The production of flexible OLED is to be started at the 4.5 generation production equipment of Sakai plant. The flexible OLED is scheduled to be adopted on AQUOS zero model for Soft Bank.

The product was exhibited at the Sharp booth of CEATEC 2018, which is a QHD+ 6.2-inch dual edge type. Sharp
Officials said that the sales have not started yet.

 

 

In addition, Sharp also exhibited two types of flexible OLEDs which are under development.

 

Quarterly OLED sales was increased significantly

According to the 3Q AMOLED Market Track issued by UBI Research, the second quarter OLED market was sluggish, affected by the lower utilization rate of Samsung Display. However, in the third quarter, the market rebounded rapidly, forming a market of US$ 8.3 billion.
The performance of the third quarter is up 43.9% from the US$ 5.77 billion in the second quarter, and up 16.6% from the same period of last year.

 

Samsung Display, which drove sales growth, posted sales of US$ 7 billion, while OLED sales for Smartphone accounted for US $ 7.2 billion as its major application.
By country, Korea achieved sales of US$ 7.9 billion, accounting for 95.5% of the total market. China occupied 4.3% of total sales with US $ 360 million.
Yi Choong-hoon, CEO of UBI Research, explained that 3Q sales growth was attributable to Samsung Display’s production of Galaxy Note and Flexible OLED for Apple’s iPhone XS.

[IMID 2018] Samsung Display, The display that will lead 5G is OLED

At the IMID 2018 exhibition held in COEX, Seoul from Oct. 24 to 26, Samsung Display presented various OLED products under the theme of ‘optimized OLED for 5G era’.
First, Samsung Display emphasized the advantages of OLED by introducing the transition process of full screen OLED and HDR & true black under the theme of ‘realistic multimedia’. Currently, the smartphone market is dominated by full-screen smartphones applied with OLED, and OLEDs are able to display a completely black color compared to LCDs, resulting in a clearer picture quality.

 

The company also introduced the next generation touch technology such as HoD (Haptic on Display; when you touch the screen, you can feel the physical vibration by hand. Thus, you can enjoy the contents realistically.), FoD (Fingerprint on Display) and SoD (Sound on Display) together with full screen technology.

In addition, the front of the booth is equipped with a space to experience the durability of the flexible OLED with a plastic cover window, so that visitors can try to hit the panel with a hammer or drop the ball. Various advantages of flexible OLED have been shown.

 

Moreover, OLED for VR, which implemented 1200ppi ultra-high resolution, automotive rollable display (CID) and 5.9 type transparent HUD were displayed, raising expectations for future development of display technologies.

LG Display unveiled its 8K OLED TV for the first time in Korea, which had been showcased at CES 2018 in Las Vegas earlier this year. This product is the biggest OLED TV that is currently in existence and provides 4 times clearer picture quality than UHD resolution.

Furthermore, LG Display showed the possibility of various OLED applications while the company showcased its 65-inch CSO (Crystal Sound OLED), a sound system built into the panel, and 77-inch UHD wallpaper OLED product that can be closely adhered to the wall to enhance interior effects in the living room.

 

Room mirror and side mirrors of Smart Car will be replaced by OLED

Japan Electronics Show, CEATEC2018, was held at Makuhari Messe last week. CEATEC JAPAN 2018 is a global showcase for Japan’s growth strategies and vision of the future. Various Japanese companies exhibited products centered on IoT robots and AI. It is recognized that the electronics industry in Japan is gradually shifting from large hardware to small advanced parts and software industries.

In the exhibition, the core technology of smart car was introduced for self driving. Kyocera introduced cockpit technology that can anticipate and prevent various accidents that may occur in blind spots as advanced sensing technology and image processing technology to enhance the safety of automobiles.

 

For automotive display business, the company also exhibited advanced concept cars with clusters, CIDs, room mirror displays and side view displays.

 

According to Kyocera officials, room-mirror and side-view displays that show the external environment might have limitations and need to be converted into OLED displays since all of the concept car’s displays use LCDs.
When LCDs are used for room mirror display and side view display that show rapid changes while driving at high speed, the location of surrounding cars is to be expressed as being behind the actual location, which can result in an accident. In particular, LCDs with low contrast ratio are not able to accurately represent external objects at night.
OLEDs with high-speed response and high contrast ratio are expected to dominate the future automotive room mirror and side view mirror market.

The golden market for Automotive OLED Displays is approaching.

The display of connected cars is getting bigger and bigger to for the convenience of providing various information. The displays used in general vehicles include the cluster, CID (center information display), RSE (rear seat entertainment), and RMD (room mirror display). In connected cars, various buttons of the center fascia are displayed, and a display is attached to the door using a camera instead of a side mirror. The Audi e-tron®, all-new electric Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) feature a small side-view OLED display instead of the existing side mirrors. According to Choong-Hoon Yi, CEO of UBI Research, the reason why automobile manufacturers are actively trying to use OLED displays is because OLED can be a good resolution in various aspects such as design, visibility and thickness. Since the side view camera is attached to the door, the viewing angle should be very good for the driver’s eyes. Especially in nighttime driving, black should be accurately represented on the display to make things clearer. In addition, OLEDs with fast response must be used for the mirror of car because the screen needs to be changed rapidly depending on speed of the car (if it is running at a high speed). In winter season when temperatures are low, LCDs with slow response times are not recommendable to be used.

Flexible OLEDs should also be used to mount the cockpit display on the dashboard that maximizes driver’s convenience.

<BenzのF015 cockpit displayとAudiのe-tron side view display>

In contrast, LG Display, the strongest player in the market for OLED TVs, is looking for the display market for clusters and CIDs as flexible OLED with two layers of RGB OLED. Visteon, the second-largest supplier of automotive displays, is preparing for the cluster market with LG Display’s pOLED. Since 12.3-inch p OLED is made of LTPS substrate and its OLED process is more complicated than that of OLED for smartphone, panel prices including module are expected to be equal to 55-inch WRGB OLED, which can create a premium market even if the quantity is small.

<Visteon, 12.3 inches pOLED>

According to “Automotive OLED Display Report” published by UBI Research, the market for automotive OLED displays led by Samsung Display and LG Display is expected to grow to US$ 540million in 2023.

Samsung Display, supplies 7-inch OLED for Virtual Exterior Mirror to Audi

Samsung Display announced on October 3 that the company will be supplying a 7-inch OLED display for Audi’s all-new electric Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV), the Audi e-tron®. The Audi e-tron has attracted attention throughout the automotive industry. One of its highlights are optional* ‘virtual exterior mirrors’ – a ‘first’ for a volume-production car.

Audi’s virtual exterior mirrors feature a small side-view camera instead of the existing side mirrors. The driver can view the images captured by the camera in real time through the OLED display installed between the vehicle’s A pillar (the column next to the front glass) and the door

<Virtual exterior mirror applied to e-Tron, Audi, Source: news.samsungdisplay.com>

The OLED display supplied by Samsung Display is equipped with one camera on each side of the vehicle dashboard, replacing the existing side mirror function, and the built-in touch sensor allows people to zoom in or out on the screen as if to manipulate a smartphone. Audi said the Virtual Exterior Mirror offers a wider field of view without blind spots, compared to a typical side mirror. It provides better visibility even on cloudy days and in dark places, and it provides a ‘view mode’ suitable for each driving situation such as highway driving, rotation, parking, etc for more convenient and safe driving. By eliminating the side mirrors that protrude out of the vehicle, it reduces air resistance and wind noise. Also, slim and beautiful design is possible, reducing the body width by 5.9 inches.

The images seen on the Samsung display that covers each virtual exterior mirror appear natural and distinct with none of the drag effects typically triggered by a slow response rate at low temperatures, while exhibiting outstanding color reproducibility. The Samsung 7-inch OLED display provides Audi e-tron drivers with an ideal visual solution, thanks to its low power consumption and innovatively thin, lightweight design, in addition to its superior imaging.

Jeeho Baek, Senior Vice President of Samsung Display, said “It is inspiring to many that our OLED display is used in Audi’s virtual exterior mirror, demonstrating that Samsung OLED technology is being optimized for cutting-edge automobile systems around the world. We will continue to actively support leading automotive manufacturers in helping them to advance the future automotive market through the use of our OLED display technology with its high resolution, advanced designs and low power consumption.”

[IMID 2018] LG Display, showcased 2-stack RGB OLED for automobile OLED with improved life span.

At IMID 2018 held in BEXCO, Busan on August 29, Kim Kwan-Soo, research fellow of LG Display presented about a new OLED technology for automotive displays.

Kim said that RGB OLEDs applied to mobile devices and WRGB OLEDs applied to TVs do not satisfy customers’ needs in terms of life span. To solve this issue, he introduced 2 stack RGB OLED in which RGB OLED has the same tandem structure as WRGB.

Because 2 stack RGB OLED can be thick due to adding a layer of CCL (charge generation layer) to the multi-layer structure, HTL is made thinner than before and the charge balance of the emitting layer is optimized.

As a result, the 2-stack RGB OLED shows 1.5 ~ 2 times higher emitting efficiency than the 1-stack RGB OLED. Its lifetime is increased by 4 times on T80 basis.

However, the 2-stack structure has a disadvantage in that it has higher power consumption than the general structure. Thus, it is necessary to make efforts to solve this disadvantage.

[IMID 2018] LG Display and Samsung Display exhibited a large number of large, and small & medium sized OLED applications.

LG Display and Samsung Display introduced a number of applications using OLED at IMID 2018 held in BEXCO, Busan, drawing attention from many visitors. In particular, LG Display displayed its strategies mostly for large OLED applications such as 77-inch transparent OLED and 55-inch video wall OLED, while Samsung Display introduced the small and medium sized OLED applications mainly for automotive and virtual reality devices.

First, the panel thickness of the 77 inch transparent flexible OLED introduced by LG Display is 400 μm, the bending radius is 80 mm, and the luminance is 200 nit based on full white.

LG Display explained that it would improve the required transmittance and durability. Also, it commented that the goal is to reduce bezel to 0.5 mm at its display of 4 FHD OLEDs with 3.8 mm bezel.

In addition, LG Display presented a 1200ppi 4.3-inch WRGB OLED for virtual reality devices. One official explained that WRGB OLED, which represents the resolution by etching the color filter, would be advantageous for higher resolution than RGB using the deposition method.

Meanwhile, Samsung Display exhibited a number of automotive OLEDs, including unbreakable OLED for 6.22 inch steering wheel, 1000R curved OLED for passenger monitor, transparent OLED for HUD, S-curved OLED for CIO and rollable OLED. The concerned official expects the OLED to be widely applied to inside automobiles because it has excellent design autonomy, compared to LCD.

He added “Although there are many things to be improved, such as brightness and reliability, it is continuously improving the required performance through the feedback from European customers”.

Furthermore, Samsung Display showcased light field display and 2,000ppi resolution RGB OLED for virtual reality devices.

Samsung Electronics, Display Business division’s operating profit in the second quarter of 2018 was KRW 140 billion.

Samsung Electronics announced its sales of KRW 58.48 trillion and operating profit of KRW 14.87 trillion through the earnings conference call of the second quarter, 2018 on July 31. Its sales decreased by 4% YoY and the operating profit increased by KRW 800 billion. Sales decreased 3% QoQ and operating profit fell by KRW 800 billion QoQ.

According to Samsung Electronics, the display panel business recorded sales of KRW 5.67 trillion and operating profit of KRW 140 billion, due to slowing demand for flexible OLED panels and declining sales of LCD TV panels. Despite improved utilization of rigid OLED, OLED division’s earnings declined QoQ due to continued weak demand for flexible products.

Competition with LTPS LCD is expected to intensify at rigid OLED in the second half of 2019, but earnings are to improve on increased sales following the recovery of flexible product demand. Sales and operating profit are projected to improve in the second half on the back of production of flexible OLED for Apple’s new iPhone models from 2Q.

Samsung Electronics plans to expand its share of OLEDs for mobile devices by strengthening its differentiated technology and cost competitiveness, and to strengthen its capacity for new products such as foldable OLEDs. Samsung official said that foldable OLED will contribute to growth from next year rather than immediate performance in the second half of the year.

IT • Mobile (IM) division posted sales of KRW 24 trillion and operating profit of KRW 2.67 trillion. Operating profit fell 34.2 percent from KRW 4.06 trillion in the same period a year ago, and also fell sharply from the previous quarter (KRW 3.77 trillion). In 2Q, handset sales reached 78 million units, of which 90% are smart phones. 5 million units of tablet were sold. The average selling price (ASP) of the handsets is in the second half of US$ 220. The Consumer Electronics (CE) division posted sales of KRW 10.4 trillion and operating profit of KRW 510 billion in the second quarter of the year. Overall sales and operating profit of the first half of the year were KR W 20.14 trillion and KRW 0.79 trillion, respectively. TV profits improved thanks to robust sales of high value-added products such as QLED TVs amid the global sports events. On the other hand, SEC’s facility investment in the second quarter was KRW 8 trillion. By business, semiconductor area accounted for KRW 6.1 trillion and KRW 1.1 trillion was invested for display area. In the first half, a total of KRW 16.6 trillion was invested; including KRW 13.3 trillion in semiconductors and KRW 1.9 trillion in display.

LG Display “Strategic direction is OLED. Uncompetitive LCD lines are planned to be switched.”

In the 2Q earnings release conference call hosted on the 25th July, Kim Sang-don, LG Display CFO, said, “Looking back at the first half of 2018, the market was in a difficult situation due to the slump in prices, the traditional off-peak season and increased display supply from China. We expected the market conditions to be stabilized in the first half of this year from the bad market condition of the second half of last year, but it has continued to decline more rapidly and steeply. However, with starting the second half of 2018, it has been observing that the price is rising since July owing to upcoming favorable seasonality and customer restocking.”

“Although the market situation has changed favorably in the second half of the year, it is different from the past supply and demand cycle because of the uncertainty of forecasts. Moreover, the oversupply and asymmetric competition in the display market are unavoidable.” LG Display announced that it will maintain its conservative strategy in the second half of the year as the unpredictability is still high.

LG Display’s sales revenue in the second quarter of 2018 was KRW 5,611 billion, decreased by 15% compared to the second quarter of 2017. Operating loss in the second quarter of 2018 recorded KRW 228 billion. This compares with the operating loss of KRW 98 billion in the first quarter of 2018 and the operating profit of KRW 804 billion in the second quarter of 2017. The company suffered a large deficit due to a continued and steep decline in panel prices and lower demand in panels following the previous quarter. Although the shipment was increased by 2% QoQ, the selling price per area (m2) was decreased by 4%.

As a positive indicator, the TV panel price fell sharply, but the overall panel price decline was only 1% due to the competitive position of OLED panels. The market is anticipated to turn into positive situation in the third quarter, compared to the first half of the year, since panel shipments are expected to increase with the orders to restock the inventory.

LG Display, which is currently conducting both LCD and OLED business with small and medium sized panels and large area panels, mentioned clearly about its future strategic direction including the direction for the second half of the year as “concentrating on OLED business and focusing on high value of LCD business” in this conference call.

LG Display announced that it will focus more on differentiated LCD features and technologies in the IT sector such as narrow bezel, IPS borderless, and oxide technology, as well as high-value-added products such as larger-size TV panels and commercial displays, considering that a structural oversupply in panels and fierce competition among display makers are expected to continue down the road.

In addition, LG Display will achieve a turnaround to profit in the OLED TV sector in the third quarter of 2018. By making its final decision to invest in its Gen 10.5 OLED panel production line in Paju, Korea, and by starting mass production in the latter half of 2019 at its Gen 8.5 OLED production line now under construction in Guangzhou, China, LG Display will accelerate the expansion of the global large-size OLED market. Furthermore, additional production facilities for OLED 8.5 generation are known to be considered with the plan that the rationalization of LCDs during the year is also to be implemented although there was no direct mention of the timing and specific lines. For the plastic small and medium-sized OLED panel business, which is experiencing difficult times, compared to large area OLED, for which LG is expanding the production capacity in response to increasing demand, it said that they are preparing for future markets with the necessary strategic technologies with the emphasis of mobile and automotive markets. The E6-1 line, which has been mentioned as a production plant for Apple, is expected to begin mass production in the fourth quarter of this year, revealing the possibility of a possible supply of display to the iPhone OLED model in 2018. In addition, demand for OLED panels is increasing in the automobile market, and it is expected that full-scale business will start in the second half of next year. At the current order backlog, it is confirmed that OLED panels are in the late stage of about 10%. This means that much of the work has already been done. Finally, LG Display is well aware of the lack of funding and funding shortfalls over its competitors in relation to its future preparations. The company plans to reduce its capex by about 3trillion won by 2020, with a substantial portion of depreciation and amortization It is possible through internal working capital management and it plans to borrow the rest. LG Display confirmed that it has not reviewed the rights issue several times in the market, and LG Display has thoroughly prepared a variety of OLED portfolios, revealing its commitment to success by differentiating it from its competitors in the area of latecomers.

8K OLED TV, Can we see it in the second half of the year?

 

Competition in the premium TV market is expected to be cutthroat.

The market share of OLED TV is on the rise in the premium TV market due to Sony’s entry into the OLED TV market and LG Electronics’ aggressive price cuts. However, LCD camp is responding with 8K high-resolution strategy, and attention is focused on whether it can prevent the rise of OLED in the premium TV market.

Sharp has already started selling 8K LCD TVs for the first time in the world since last year. Samsung Electronics showcased 8K TV at CES earlier this year, and will launch 8 K QLED (QD-LCD) products in the second half of the year. In the OLED camp, LG Display exhibited 88inch 8K OLED TV at CES, but the launch of 8K OLED TV in the second half is still unknown.

OLED TVs, which are currently in mass production, are based on bottom emission type. Thus, the light is emitted from the remaining portion of the pixel except the TFT region since the light is emitted through the TFT. Therefore, in the same size TV, as the resolution increases, the pixel size becomes smaller, but the area where the size of the TFT is reduced is limited, so that the area where the light is emitted becomes narrower. Consequently, in order to realize a high resolution at the same size, it is necessary to broaden the aperture ratio as much as possible or improve the performance of the emitting materials.

 

As a way of increasing the aperture ratio, there is a method of applying a top emission structure. Since the top emission structure emits light in the encapsulation direction, not the TFT direction, it can secure a wider aperture ratio than the bottom emission. However, there are pending problems that the encapsulation using opaque metal sheet should be changed to a transparent material and the color filter should be formed above the encapsulation with the change of the process.

The development of TADF blue and new blue materials is actively underway in the emitting material side.

The 88inch 8K OLED TV released by LG Display is made with a bottom emission structure and its ppi is about 100, which is about 20% higher than 80 ppi of the 55inch 4K currently being sold. When the pixel size is compared with the whole display size, the 55 inch 4K pixel is calculated to be about 40% wider than the 88inch 8k pixel.

In order to achieve the same level of brightness and lifetime as 55inch 4K, it is necessary to optimize the TFT design and improve the performance of the emitting materials to make up for the 40% decrease in pixel size. The industry is paying attention to whether the 8K OLED TV will be launched, with resolving above-mentioned issues, against the 8K LCD TV, which is expected to be released in the second half of the year.

BLUE OLED, is rapidly emerging as a competitor of WRGB OLED

In the premium TV market, the share of OLED TVs is steadily increasing, and the price gap with LCD is gradually decreasing. As a result, LCD TV (QD-LCD TV) companies using quantum dot technology are sluggish in the premium TV market.

OLED TV uses white OLED and OLED panel with color filter (hereafter referred to as WRGB OLED), which is mass-produced only by LG Display.

Samsung Display is known to actively develop blue OLED + QDCF (blue OLED), which is one of the technologies to compete with WRGB OLED in the premium TV market.

UBI Research predicted that Samsung Display would implement blue OLED + QDCF with top emission method and it would be more advantageous to implement 8K and BT 2020 than WRGB in its ‘2018 OLED Material Industry Report’ published on April 18.

<Expected stack structure for Blue OLED, 2stack (left), 3stack (right), 2018 AMOLED emitting materials Report, UBI Research>

8K and BT2020 are to be adopted for the premium TVs. Also, the development of blue materials is expected to be aggressively progressed according to Samsung Display’s development of blue OLED. The blue material currently used in OLED is a fluorescent material that is insufficient in the efficiency and lifetime than phosphorescent material used in red and green. Blue phosphorescent materials have been developed continuously but they have not been applied to mass production due to the scarcity of materials and technical barriers. Therefore, blue fluorescent materials are stacked two or more times to improve efficiency and lifetime for large area OLED, and blue OLED is expected to use more than 2 stack structure.

 

With this trend, the market for blue emitting materials is expected to continue to grow. In 2017, blue materials (host and dopant) formed market of US$ 70 million.  According to the 2018 AMOLED emitting material market track published by UBI Research, blue material is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 32% by 2022 and reach US $ 272 million sales.

<Blue material (host and dopant) market forecast, 2018 AMOLED emitting materials Market track>

Can BLUE OLED be used for OLED TV?

Samsung Display selected blue OLED + QDCF (blue OLED) as next generation display technology following LCD TV, and started the necessary development.

Blue OLED is a technology, in which blue light emitted from blue OLED passes through a quantum dot color filter to represent red and green colors (b). The WRGB OLED used in OLED TV is a method in which white light passes through a color filter and implements RGB colors (a).

The ‘2018 OLED Materials Industry Report’ published by UBI Research on April 18 describes whether blue OLED, which Samsung Display has started to develop, can become TV OLED panels. The expected development direction and performance (efficiency and lifetime) of blue OLED + QDCF are analyzed. In particular, current status and development trends (fluorescence, phosphorescence, TADF) of blue emitting material, which is the core material of blue OLED, are covered.

Since blue OLED of Samsung Display is top emission type, the aperture ratio is increased by about 70% compared to the bottom emission, which emits light in the TFT direction, so that 8K resolution and high brightness are realized better than the conventional WRGB OLED. In addition, it is expected to reach BT. 2020, the UHD color standard, which was established by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in 2012, using QD material with high color reproduction rate as color filter.

In the future premium TV market, 8K and BT. 2020 are necessary conditions for display. WRGB OLED is also being actively developed to implement 8K and BT2020. Attention is focused on the impact of the development of blue OLED in the premium TV market led by WRGB OLED.

In addition, the report analyzes the market status and development trends of the related companies, including overall technology development directions and key issues for new materials such as soluble OLED materials and near IR materials.

Changes in OLED panel market for smartphones

According to the ‘2018 1Q AMOLED Display Market Track’ published by UBI Research, OLED panel shipments for smartphones are projected to grow at an annual average growth rate of 15.8%, from 450 million units in 2018 to 850 million units by 2022. This is a 9.6% decline from the CAGR 25.4% expected in the fourth quarter of 2017.

<Shipment forecast of OLED panel for smartphones >

The reason shipment forecast of OLED panels for smartphones is declined compared with 4Q,2017 is because smartphone trends have been reflected recently. The smartphone market is sluggish due to the prolonged replacement period of smartphones and the lack of new technology. In addition, the average size of smartphones has enlarged faster than expected, and the size of smartphones is expected to increase gradually with the anticipation for the launch of foldable OLEDs, leading to a slowdown in the shipment growth.

 

For flexible OLED, ASPs have risen due to the lack of supply, caused by mainly dependent on Samsung Display, and Chinese set makers are burdened by its high prices. As low-priced full-screen LCDs are emerging, it is forecasted that demand for rigid OLEDs will decline since Chinese set makers are adopting more LCDs than OLEDs in rigid smartphones.

Panel makers in Korea and China have aggressively invested in the Gen6 OLED line in 2016 and 2017. Starting this year, however, they are reviewing the investment and operation time frame of mass production lines, with looking into the smartphone demand. As OLED panels for smartphones account for more than 90% of the total OLED panel market, it is an important factor for the investment flow of panel makers.

 

Meanwhile, ‘2018 1Q AMOLED Display Market Track’ is based on the market performance data and projected system that UBI Research has accumulated over 15 years. It consists of 8 (eight) modules in total: Panel cost analysis, Market forecast, Supply and demand analysis, Market performance (sales), Competitiveness analysis of panel makers, ASP, Supply chain analysis and investment & Mass production line status.

Sensational Self-driving Cars and OLED Display in 2017

Institute for Information & Communications Technology Promotion(IITP) has selected and announced the next-year top 10 issues of ICT(Information & Communication Technology) since 2008, and selected automotive issues including self-driving and connected cars among top 10 ICT issues in 2017.

A self-driving car is a vehicle that is capable of sensing its environment and surroundings and driving along a planned path, and a connected car is a car that is usually connected with a network due to its convergence with IT technology. Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto are representative.

An autonomous car currently under development puts more importance on the display that can provide necessary information in time because information is increasingly diversifying and complex. With the higher availability of interior space in the not partial but full self-driving age, the utilization of display that can support a driver’s various secondary activities is expected to increase.

In addition, as smart devices and network have advanced, a connected car is expected to use media contents streaming and various application services through display including in-vehicle CID(Center Information Display). And, it will be a connected device that connects a driver-car-house through display that provides wireless communication service and information.

Accordingly, many panel companies including LG Display are developing automotive displays, and automobile companies also try to apply different displays in order to differentiate from other companies and highlight merchantable quality. Especially, they are actively considering flexible displays because it is difficult to use the large area of flat displays with curved surface in cluster and CID, and therefore OLED display with good design availability is receiving attention.

AMOLED panel has the advantages of rapid response speed and high visibility based on wide viewing angle, high color reproduction rate and contrast range. And, its flexible design is so easy that it is applicable regardless of location, thereby attracting automobile companies. But, its short lifespan remains a current issue, and panel companies are carrying out development for performance improvement such as better lifespan, service temperature, and brightness.

<Market Share Forecast of Displays in the Automotive Display Market, 2017~2022>

Meanwhile, according to “Automotive Display Report – application & market trend analysis and the market forecast” published by UBI Research, OLED pane is expected to be applied to automotive cluster or CID beginning in 2018, and the automotive display market is likely to increase about 17% annually on average and will reach about US$ 25,000 million by 2022. Also, it forecasted that the AMOLED panel market will account for about 20% of the total sales.

LG Display Invests 5 Trillion Won in OLED Business, including Plastic OLED

LG Display has decided to change its business portfolio to concentrate organic light-emitting diode (OLED) business. Through the conference call that reported operating profits in the fourth quarter of 2016, LG Display announced on January 24 that it plans to invest some 5 trillion won in facilities this year, and put investment in OLED including Gen6 Plastic OLED and large-size OLED manufacturing facilities. Especially, its investment in OLED is expected to rise to 70% by 20% in 2017, compared to last year with a plan to expand the OLED market.

LG Display Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Kim Sang-don said, “LG Display has reorganized its business structure by integrating previous 5 divisions into a total of 3 divisions such as TV, IT and mobile for its business efficiency.” “It will concentrate not only clear picture but also design and price in large-size LCD TV panels, while producing small and mid-size OLED panels focused on E-5 Gen6 POLED mobile and automotive business. Gen6 E-5 plants also plan to start producing POLED in the third quarter this year. Regarding new Capa, the sizes of new OLED will be 55”, 65” and 77”, and the Capa over 65″ is expected to rise more than 40% this year, a 10 % increase from 30% in 2016”.

Kim said, “the company has secured a total of 60,000 OLED TV capa in the second half of the year according to this year’s OLED TV forecast and yield improvement, and this is the capacity that can produce 1.5 million to 1.8 million televisions a year. Also, he emphasized “Our large-size OLED panel achieved the industry’s yield of 80 percent, which means OLED achieved its golden yield in just two years, compared to LCD’s golden yield of 10 years”.

Kim added “Regarding Chinese firms’ large-size LCD panel line extension that has become an issue recently, the production of Gen8.5 OLED and LCD is now available, but we still need to examine technology, production and productivity of over Gen10 panels. We will carefully consider the extension of the super large 60” 4K and 8K market. Also, LG Display’s middle and long-term strategy is to create a new OLED market so as to expand OLED.

With regard to the price comparison with LCD TV, “more than 60,000 capa is added this year through OLED line extension, and this is the capacity that can produce 1.5 million to 1.8 million televisions. It is a very small scale compared to the entire TV market size, and the price comparison with LCD is meaningless” according to him. LG Display announced that it plans to expand the OLED market for commercial purposes such as signage, broadcasting and medical use in 2007, while emphasizing the target of OLED TV is not the competition with LCD but only the high-end premium TV market.

Meanwhile, regarding the ownership of crystal sound that were unveiled at CES 2017 held in Las Vegas, USA, “In addition to LG DISPLAY’s crystal sound panel, its strategic partner Sony Entertainment Television (SET) improved sound through sound control and algorithm, and OLED panel’s quadrant sound control is LG DISPAY’s own technology” it said.

LG DISPLAY posted 7.9360 trillion won in sales and 904 billion won in operating profits in the fourth quarter last year, recording the black-ink balance for 19 consecutive quarters. Its net profits increased to 824.7 billion won, a whopping 335% increase from the previous quarter. 38 percent of sales in the fourth quarter came from displays for televisions; 31 percent from displays for mobile devices; 17 percent for laptops and tablets; and 14 percent for monitors. Due to the increase in panel prices and demands, its sales reached 26.5041 trillion won, and operating profit was 1.3114 trillion won, surpassing the 1 trillion won for a fourth straight year while keeping a positive trend in its profits.

In the meantime, UBI Research expected that LG Display will produce 1.5 million large-size OLED panels over 50-inch.

All about OLED in one place, UBI Research, ‘3rd OLED KOREA Conference’ will be held

UBI Research plans to hold the 3rd OLED KOREA Conference with the theme of “Lessons from History and How OLED Can Evolve” at Novotel Ambassador Hotel on Mar. 8 (Wed) to 9 (Thu).

The OLED industry is expected to grow rapidly according to the adaption of full-driven OLED panels by Sony and Apple in 2017 and the competition among panels, equipment, and manufacturing companies can be intensified at the same time. It is necessary to understand and respond strategically to industry trends for successful business under such circumstances. The opportunities to share ideas and concerns each other and close exchanges between Industry-academic institute, panel, materials and equipment companies have been required. UBI Research has prepared a place to freely exchange various information and opinions through the 3rd OLED Korea Conference by reflecting such needs of the industry.

The Korea Conference will be an opportunity to analyze the past trends of OLED which the usage and application range is getting wider and to discuss the successful advancement and strategies to grow the OLED industry for the future. Therefore, it will be a valuable time to practically help the OLED industry.

The Presentation is planned by twenty-four (24) domestic/international experts related to OLED display such as set and panel makers, materials/equipment companies, university/research etc. including UBI Research, Samsung Display, Cynora and CEREBA about followings:

▲Exploring new opportunities with OLED and the preparation, ▲Possible directions and the reasoning for OLED, ▲Lessons from the history and how OLED can be evolved, ▲OLED and its collaboration, investigating the possibilities

We will establish the opportunity to contribute to the growth of the OLED industry based on the sharing of mutual opinions by preparing a networking space between the companies through luncheon during the conference period and breakfast with OLED reception.

Detail information can be found in www.oledkoreaconference.com

The image quality is enough, AMOLED for user’s eye health is general trend now.

Modern people who are exposed to electronic devices such as smart phones, PCs, TVs, and monitors can cause fatigue and dry eye syndrome by blue light which might damage the retina or lens in severe case. It may especially disturb a restful sleep by affecting melatonin negatively which is the secretion of sleep-inducing hormone.

Samsung Display has introduced the strength points of self-emitting AMOLED on the blog that can block the harmful blue light by emitting nearby safe wavelength to keep the color and reduce the emission of 425-455mm area in harmful wavelength. They have acquisitioned the industry’s first “Safety for Eyes” certification regarding on the excellence of eye’s health in the photobiological stability test conducted by German certification institute, VDE (Verband Deutscher Elektrotrchniker e.v) in 2016.

They have also represented various advantages that offer excellent color reproduction ratio of 100% against LCD showing 74% level of DCI-P3 standard, thinner thickness than half and low power consumption compared to LCD. They promoted variety merits of eco-friendly AMOLED only for user’s eye health (e.g., ‘Vision Aid’ checks itself the degree of deficiency of cone cell for color blind people and adjusts intentionally the insufficient color stronger for them to look well) as well as the performance including image quality by using blog.

Meanwhile, Samsung Display showed a Bio blue panel applied pixel structure with deep blue sub-pixel and light blue sub-pixel in SID 2016 and IMID 2016. Deep blue and light blue are applied to prevent the degradation of color expressiveness of AMOLED panels that are replaced by light blue only and sharply reduced the gravity of blue light on AMOLED to 12.8%, half of the 25.1% of LCD.

<Bio Blue OLED Panel of Samsung Display, SID 2016>

LG Display Unveils Next-Generation Market Leading Technologies at CES 2017

01-02

<Source :LG Display Unveils Next-Generation Market Leading Technologies at CES>

LG Display is actively participating in the ‘CES (Consumer Electronics Show) 2017’ to be held in Las Vegas, the U.S., from January 5 to 8 to show more diverse products and next-level differentiated technologies.

LG Display plans to convey its purpose to achieve consumer innovation together with LG Display’s differentiated technologies under the slogan of ‘Our Technology, Your Innovation’, at its private showroom for clients in the Las Vegas Convention Center, from January 4 to 8.

Especially, LG Display will showcase new products that basically has superior picture quality and fulfill OLED’s next-level design and potential, as well as a variety of products that provide new future to customers with its own differentiated technologies.

 

■ Unveil the New OLED TV with Superior Picture Quality, and Extreme Design

LG Display will release its differentiated OLED TVs with unsurpassed picture quality and potential application and design.

During CES, it will also introduce a 55-inch transparent FHD display featuring the improved colors and more natural and transparent screen.
LG Display will showcase 65-inch and 77-inch UHD Wall Paper TV line-up with ultra thin and innovative design. It will also show off futuristic displays, including a 77-inch double-sided UHD display and 77-inch six rollable UHD commercial displays, which will open various possibilities of OLED with surpassed picture quality.

 

■ Constantly evolving IPS, Innovative LCD Technology

LG Display’s OLED(Organic Light-Emitting Diode) and a high-resolution technology IPS evolve further.
LG Display will show off IPS products with improved picture quality and price competitiveness by using WCG(Wide Color Gamut, a technology to provide a greater range of colors), HDR(High Dynamic Range, a technique to reproduce a greater dynamic range of luminosity), and high-resolution technical solutions.

Especially, IPS Nano Color at this show is LG Display’s own WCG technology that can express more accurate and vivid colors, using nano-sized wide color gamut.
It is increased with the addition of the strength of IPS OLED to offer high color accuracy. This show will apply it to a 65-inch UHD product.

 

■ User’s Expanded Touch Experience through in–TOUCH, Improved-quality Display

LG Display will expand in-TOUCH technology of touch sensor-embedded panel to 24-inch monitors, while showing off the key advantages of design to offer differentiated values to IT market through its high-resolution product strategy.

in-TOUCH technology offers a thinner and lighter product since there is no Touch Cover Glass.
In addition, Active Pen Solution is applied to a 13.3-inch in-TOUCH panel, so that it features higher touch accuracy outside the screen, faster touch response, and more precise calibration of the touch point, compared to conventional Add-on(touch sensor-added panel).

LG will also show not only the world’s largest 38-inch curve monitor suitable for such offices as stock trading, movie-watching, and immersive gaming but also 32-inch 8K monitor with ultra high resolution and HDR monitor panel for broadcasting and video editing experts.

 

■ Providing Future Vision through its P-OLED with Excellent Picture Quality and Design Freedom

LG Display will provide next-gen futuristic automotive display products through P-OLED(Plastic OLED) with superior picture quality and design freedom.

P-OLED featuring wide screen, perfect expression of black, and high design flexibility is an optimized technology to provide new vision to automotive interior in harmony with the curved surfaces of vehicles.
LG Display plans to have a showroom for visitors to experience futuristic concept products in a real situation, including Cluster that will provide better safety and convenience, Center Information Display, passenger seat display, large transparent OLED, and mirror-type OLED.

Besides, LG Display is aiming to enter the middle and small-sized OLED market through 5.5-inch QHD P-OLED. In addition, it will introduce the P-OLED for Smartwatches with diverse designs, including circular or square pattern.

LG Display Vice Chairman, Han Sang-beom announced “LG Display has offered leading products that can provide new values beyond the expectation of the market, with its differentiated technologies.” “It will proactively respond to the market through its next-generation display OECD and new innovative technologies, and consolidate its position as a leading company”.

 

BY HYUNJUN JANG, HANA OH

OLED Technology, extend the field from automobiles to airline industry.

It is expected that we may be able to meet flights with OLED technology soon.

In existing OLED market, display is applied in mobile field and lighting is applied in indoor lighting field, and it was known several companies seem to be proceeding projects to apply it at either rear lamp or dash board area of the automobile.

However, in IFA 2016 held in Berlin Germany, LG vice president of HE Bongseok Kwon had reporter meeting where he said “we are currently in negotiation with two global airlines to install OLED display at front monitor and window, and the period of application must be discussed for not only seats but also including all parts such as windows.

Especially, several companies including Lumiotech, OSRAM, and LG Inotech already introduced technologies for applying OLED in indoor purposes as well as other fields, and third panel companies are known to be developing technologies for engrafting airline industry, so there is much attention of the outcome of new application.

OLED is designed with thin and light characteristics as well as flexibility where it is good at utilizing space without taking up large volume. Due to its characteristics, the installation is easy without location or space restrictions. So if OLED is applied in window then the flight crew can control the light penetration without having to check the window, and also people will be able to check the flight information they desire through display, and diversify the size and shape of the main display and dashboard.

Aside from these visual effect, it is expected to lower the fuel usage by decreasing the total weight of the flight. According to the contents presented in UK governmental emerging institution CPI (Centre for Process Innovation) in 2014, the fixed fuel usage is expected to decrease by applying OLED due to decreased weight of the flight fuselage and fuel, and the fuel consumed by air-conditioning can also be reduced due to low power consumption and heat, as well as the exhaustion of greenhouse gas is expected to be minimized.

<Concept picture of flight’s interior with CPI’s OLED display applied>

Along with this, OLED related application and its industry is expected to develop continuously. According to 2016 OLED Display Annual Report published by the market research company Ubi industry research, AMOLED market is expected to be worth 14,800 million USD in 2016, and approximately 71,705 million USD in 2020 where the average yearly growth of about 49%. Also, starting from 2019 where companies’ investments actually begin, the profit for OLED lighting will also largely increase which it is expected to reach above 7,500 million USD by 2025. Therefore, it is expected to see various types of applications with OLED display or lighting in the near future.

Europe’s Largest Samsung Galaxy S7 edge Appears in Russia

Europe’s Largest Samsung Galaxy S7 edge Appears in Russia

Europe’s Largest Samsung Galaxy S7 edge Appears in Russia

Hyunjoo Kang / olednet.com

Samsung Electronics introduced the largest Galaxy S7 edge in Europe, mega-sized LED signage—80 meters high and 40 meters wide, in Sokol, Moscow, Russia

The Galaxy S7 edge LED signage can be spotted from as far as Moscow’s Gidroproekt building which is located 2.2 kilometers from the site. The LED signage is situated on the side of main road that connects downtown Moscow and Sheremetyevo International Airport, an area that sees approximately 800,000 people per day.

AUO Reports March 2016 Consolidated Revenue

 

AUO announced its unaudited consolidated revenue for March 2016(Source=AUO)

AUO announced its unaudited consolidated revenue for March 2016(Source=AUO)

Hyunjoo Kang / jjoo@olednet.com

AU Optronics Corp. (AUO)announced its unaudited consolidated revenue of NT$26.27 billion for March 2016, up by 27.7% month-over-month and down by 24.5% year-over-year. Consolidated revenues in the first quarter of 2016 were NT$71.14 billion, down by 14.7% from the previous quarter and 25.4% year-over-year.

Shipments of large-sized panels for LCD TV, desktop monitor, notebook PC, and other applications totaled nearly 9.55 million units in March 2016, up by 35.0% from the previous month. As for small-and-medium-sized panels, the shipments were around 14.74 million units, an increase of 26.6% month-over-month.

In the first quarter of 2016, large-sized panel shipments totaled 24.43 million units, a decrease of 11.5% quarter-over-quarter and 8.8% year-over-year. Shipments of small-and-medium-sized panels in the same quarter exceeded 37.75 million units, up by 13.0% quarter-over-quarter and down by 11.5% year-over-year.

CPT`s Net Sales for March NT$3.24 Billion

Source : CPT

Source : CPT

Hyunjoo Kang / Reporter / jjoo@olednet.com
Chunghwa Picture Tubes(CPT) today announced that CPT`s consolidated net sales for March 2016 approximated NT$3.24 billion , up 16.0% MoM and down 29.0% YoY. the company`s cumulative consolidated sales revenues from January to March 2016 is NT$9.5 billion, down 28.5% YoY.
March shipments of large-sized panels totaled 74 thousand, up 22% MoM and down 40.6% YoY. March shipments of S&M-sized panels totaled 33.88 million, up 6.4% MoM and down 9.8% YoY.

2016 AMOLED Market, Estimated to Record US$ 15,000 Million, an Increase of Approx. 40% from 2015

According to 2016 OLED Display Annual Report, published by UBI Research, 2016 AMOLED panel market is estimated to show US$ 15,000 million, which is a growth of approximately 40% from 2015. The report also expects the shipment to record 16% increase compared to 2015 with 270 million units, and 2016 to be the year for the AMOLED industry could take off again.

 

UBI Research revealed that “Samsung Electronics is actively selecting AMOLED panel for mainstream models of Galaxy and the demand for AMOLED panel by Chinse set companies is also increasing. Additionally, Apple’s application of flexible AMOLED panel for iPhone is becoming more concrete, and OLED TV sales is gradually increasing. As such LCD will be slowly replaced”. Particularly, regarding AMOLED for mobile device market, UBI Research explained that “the flexible AMOLED panel equipped set market analysis shows approximately 500K (Gen 6) per month will be required until 2020, and it is anticipated that active flexible AMOLED investment will be continually carried out”.

 

The AMOLED market growth staggered momentarily in 2015, but due to the increase of demand for mainstream AMOLED panel and flexible AMOLED panel, it grew with a large margin in 2015. Accordingly, investment for flexible AMOLED panel application for Apple’s iPhone, which is leading the total smartphone market with Samsung Electronics, is in consideration. The panel companies in China, Japan, and Taiwan are also anticipated to invest in flexible AMOLED panel, and bring energy into stagnated OLED related display industry.

 

According to the 2016 OLED Display Annual Report, the AMOLED panel market exceeded US$ 10,000 million with approximately 230 million units in 2015, an increase of approximately 25% from the previous year. It is expected to record US$ 67,000 million until 2020 with CAGR of approximately 46%.

AMOLED Panel Market Forecast (2016-2020)

Solution Process Panel, Cheaper To Produce than LCD

According to 2015 Solution Process OLED Report, published by UBI Research on October 14, solution process technology could produce 55inch OLED panel at approximately 43% cheaper cost compared to WRGB method.

 

The report added that this value is the result of analysis of 2015 Q2 55inch UHD OLED panel price and yield, which is slightly higher than current production price of 55inch UHD LCD panel. However, considering that the solution process OLED structure will become simplified and that yield of backplane and encapsulation can be improved, the OLED panels will be able to be produced at lower cost than LCD panel. The report also revealed that solution process OLED can be an alternative solution for large area OLED panel in achieving price competitiveness.

 

Solution process is a technology that can produce large area RGB pixel OLED panel using Gen8, or higher, equipment without cutting the mother glass. Key AMOLED panel companies are active in developing this technology.

 

However, as solvent is used in order to turn the existing evaporation material into ink, its purity is decreased leading to lower emitting efficiency and therefore lower lifetime. Despite these factors, key panel companies’ enthusiasm for solution process technology is due to the high emitting material usage efficiency without using color filter, and simple structure compared to WRGB OLED panel which leads to production cost decrease.

 

Panasonic has been most active in developing solution process applied OLED panel, and has presented several times in CES and IFA. BOE and AUO also have revealed solution process OLED panel produced via ink-jet manufacturing equipment, and CSOT is considering solution process development. Samsung Display and LG Display, leaders of AMOLED industry, are also actively developing the technology. LG Display has adopted Gen8 ink-jet manufacturing equipment, and Samsung Display has started solution process OLED panel development with a focus on ink-jet manufacturing equipment companies.

 

Material and manufacturing equipment companies as well as panel companies are leading the solution process technology development and commercialization. Kateeva agreed on technology collaboration with Sumitomo Chem. while Merck did the same with Seiko Epson. DuPont recently revealed that they enlarged solution process OLED material production facilities and began operation.

 

Following these participation by key panel, material, and manufacturing equipment companies in solution process technology development and commercialization, it is anticipated that the solution process OLED panel market will record rapid growth.

 

UBI Research’s 2015 Solution Process OLED Report forecast that solution process OLED panel market will actively begin mass production from 2018 and show approximately US$ 2,329 million in 2020.

 

Solution process OLED panel수정2

UBI Research Organizes ‘2015 Display Printed Electronics Seminar’

The Opportunity to Understand Printed Electronics Technology

For That Competitive Edge in Global Display Industry

 

 

 

At present there is an intense competition within display industry between countries such as China with aggressive investment, and Japan that is looking for a comeback. For Korea to possess that competitive edge in display industry, a seminar is being prepared. This seminar will provide the opportunity to learn about printed electronics technology that is becoming a key technology and understand latest technology trend.

 

UBI Research (http://www.ubiresearch.co.kr, President: Dr. Choong Hoon Yi), an OLED specializing company, announced that the 2015 Display Printed Electronics Seminar will be held on October 7. This seminar will take place at The K Seoul Hotel in Seocho-gu in Seoul with a group of key experts who will discuss latest technology development trend in display based on printed electronics.

 

Printing process or solution process is a new production technology that is the center of much expectation around the world. Dr. Kyung-Tae Kang, the head of printed electronics center of Korea Institute of Industrial Technology, will examine the current printed electronics industry and propose its future. Dr. Kang is also a secretary for IEC TC119 which was established to respond to the printed electronics industrialization.

 

At this seminar, Professor Yongtaek Hong of Seoul National University will explain technological issues that need to be considered when producing ultra-thin transistor device using printed electronics technology. The printed electronics technology is receiving much attention as it can be applied to flexible elastic substrate, and low temperature process through large area is possible.

 

Dongguk University’s Professor Yong-Young Noh will give a presentation on printed electronics technology’s development trend and research content for flexible display development.

 

Also, Dankook University’s Professor Byung Doo Chin will discuss OLED RGB printing technology trend review for efficiency and stability improvement of small molecule and polymer OLED device by solution process, and high resolution OLED technology that can be actualized through inkjet printing. This OLED RGB printing technology based on printing process is a subject of active research as a replacement for the current vacuum thermal evaporation; pixel formation is difficult for large area through this evaporation technique.

 

Furthermore, essential topics on printed electronics are covered by industry’s top experts.

  • Technology Trend for Solution Process OLED Material (Dr. Jae-Min Lee, Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology)
  • Technology Trend for Electrode Material and Process for Printing (Dr. chan-Jae Lee, Korea Electronics Technology Institute)
  • Blanket Application for Printed Electronics and Development Status (Dr. Noh-min Kwak, RPE Corporation)
  • Printed Electronics R2R Equipment Technology Status

 

UBI Research will bring together top quality industry experts as speakers toward Korea’s leadership in display industry and host a place of networking where industry-academic professionals can meet. UBI Research seminars, previously held twice a year, will become a monthly event.

 

Seminar attendance application can be made through the UBI Research homepage (www.ubiresearch.co.kr).

LG Display Targets Plastic OLED

With the active release of Apple’s smartwatch within Korean market, the interest in LG Display’s plastic OLED business is suddenly increasing.

 

LG Display began OLED development at the similar time as Samsung Display, but misjudgments on OLED potential and marketability led to the late market entrance and folding of the rigid OLED business. With the plastic OLED business, LG Display is matching the progress of the competitor, Samsung Display, and speeding up the development and commercialization.

 

Already, LG Display supplied plastic OLED for LG Elec.’s G Flex that went on sale in November 2013. Although the panel was 6inch, as the resolution was only at HD level, there was criticism that compared to Samsung Elec.’s FHD OLED which was released in the same period, the resolution fell short.

 

This year, LG Display supplemented the resolution and succeeded in FHD plastic OLED production. The panel is applied to G Flex 2, and it is also supplied to LG Elec.’s G Watch and Urbane.

 

For Samsung Elec., they intensively applied flexible OLED to the flagship smartphone model Galaxy S6 and intensified marketing; in comparison to Samsung’s smartphone market control, smartwatch’s is weaker. Accordingly, Samsung Display is mainly producing 55inch flexible OLED.

 

However, in contrast to the competitor, LG Display is using different business strategy for plastic OLED business. Rather than plastic OLED for smartphone, which has weak market control, they are focusing on small plastic OLED for smartwatch that is already receiving positive response.

 

Following the uproar within the smartwatch market, created by Samsung Elec.’s greatest rival Apple, LG Display, Apple’s supplier of plastic panel, is making all effort in panel production. Additionally, as LG Display has already secured a position as Apple’s next smartwatch plastic OLED supplier, although the capa. is lower than Samsung Display’s, the line is actively operational.

 

It is also estimated that LG Display will decide soon on Gen6 plastic OLED line investment to promote closer relationship with Apple. Apple is already seriously considering flexible (plastic) OLED for next iPhone series, and it is analyzed that they requested LG Display for Gen6 line investment for stable product supply.

 

Although LG Display does not have as high volume of clientele as Samsung Display, it is anticipated that they will establish a bridgehead in OLED panel industry through forming mutually beneficial relationship with a giant company called Apple.

LG Display’s Flexible Automotive Display, SID 2015

LG Urbane, WIS 2015

Apple’s Next iPhone, Can Flexible OLED Be Applied?

Smartphone’s hardware performance has improved as much as possible and can no longer be the differential point within the market. Following this, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 Edge and S6 Edge, and LG’s G-flex series are differentiating themselves from existing products through flexible (plastic) AMOLED panel applied new designs and functions. Particularly, Galaxy S6 Edge’s higher than anticipated demand means that the ratio between total Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge demand was expected to be approximately between 8:2 and 7:3, but at present it is estimated to be 5:5. To meet this demand, Samsung Display began actively operating A3 line, and carried out investment to convert A2 rigid line to flexible line.

As interest in flexible OLED is rising within the next generation smartphone market, there is much talk that Apple will also apply flexible OLED to the next product. UBI Research’s Flexible OLED Annual Report, published on 18 June, analyzed Apple’s flexible OLED application potential and forecast scenario.

According to the Flexible OLED Annual Report, other than Samsung Display, LG Display is the only company with the technology to mass produce flexible AMOLED. Japan Display and AUO also possess flexible AMOLED production technology and with investment, mass production is analyzed to be possible. Therefore, for the Apple to apply flexible OLED to the iPhone series to be released in 2017, the Gen 6 flexible AMOLED line investment of LG Display, Japan Display, or AUO has to be carried out within 2015. However, as Japan Display and AUO’s mass production technology has not been verified, depending on the currently mass producing LG Display’s Gen 6 line investment timing the flexible OLED applied iPhone release date will be decided.

As the results of analyzing future model’s shipment based on the analysis of iPhone series’ sales progress so far, to meet the demand for Apple’s flexible AMOLED applied model’s shipment in 2020, approximately 170K monthly capa. by Gen 6 (considering operation and yield rate) is needed. Considering the recent trend of 20K capa. per 1 line, 8 or 9 flexible AMOLED line are required, and Apple’s future flexible AMOLED line investment is estimated to be actively carried out.

On the other hand, flexible AMOLED market is forecast to grow at 57% CAGR from 2016, and show approximately US$ 35,000 million revenue in 2020.Flexible AMOLED Panel Market Forecast

[Finetech Japan 2015] The Third Display Revolution, to be Accomplished by OLED?

Speaking in a keynote session in Finetech Japan 2015 which opened on April 8, LG Display’s Vice President Yoon Sooyoung reported that “the first revolution in TV market was transformation to color from black and white, the second revolution was from CRT to flat panel display such as PDP and LCD, and the third revolution will be accomplished by OLED”.

 

Yoon also spoke that “until now the market was formed centering on investment by display companies, but in future the market will be created by differentiation and new application” and added “the key focus will be freedom in design and color quality such as rich color scheme” and that “OLED is the most suitable display for this”.

 

The differentiation mentioned by Yoon is OLED’s advantage in flexible and transparent realization as substrate can be formed using diverse materials compared to other displays. OLED is also superior in color gamut control through achievement of perfect black. Yoon emphasized the OLED is better suited for next generation display compared to LCD equipped with new technology; “LCD also achieved color gamut exceeding OLED through technology such as QD, but this is during full white, and in mid-range grayscale, color control is difficult in BLU driven LCD. However, OLED can perfectly express black using infinite contrast range and perfect color control is possible even in lower grayscale”.

 

On the basis of these advantages, LG Display is aiming for shipment of 600 thousand units of OLED panel for TV this year, and 1.4 million units in 2016, leading the launch of large area OLED TV market. LG Display is striving to bring the next generation of display market toward OLED by active mass production of plastic OLED panel. Samsung Display is estimated to further vitalize OLED market with their bold A3 mass production, and Chinese companies’ mass production will also do their part in OLED’s leadership formation in next generation display market.

Vice President Yoon Sooyoung, Finetech Japan 2015

By Yu Jin Hong, reporter@olednet.co.kr