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.

78.6 tons of OLED emitting material demand increased by 5.6% in 2020

According to the 2020 OLED emitting material report published by UBI Research, the demand for emitting materials in 2020 is 78.6 tons, which is 4.2 tons higher than last year’s 74.4 tons. The material used for OLEDs for smartphones and mobile devices is 62.9 tons, and the OLED emitting material for TVs is expected to be 15.7 tons.

In 2019, the total emitting material market was totaled at $ 1.28 billion, and 43% of the total amount was purchased from Samsung Display. It was found that the amount purchased by LG Display was 19.4% and the BOE was 11.6%. LG Display’s purchase of emitting materials accounted for 60.8% of TV use. The order of purchase of emitting materials for mobile devices is in order of Samsung Display, BOE, and LG Display. This is because BOE has a large amount of OLED production for mobiles after Samsung Display.

The OLED panel for TV only produces LG Display, but Samsung Display is pursuing QD-OLED commercialization using blue light emitting material and QD. In addition, although BOE is a white OLED structure similar to LG Display, it is developing a top-emission structure that transmits light in the opposite direction of TFT, and it is expected that three companies will produce OLED panels for TV within a few years, and the emitting material market is expected to increase as well.

 

The market for emitting materials in 2020 is expected to increase by 7% from 2019 to $ 1.37 billion. Among the emitting materials, green and red hosts are expected to be $ 19.2 billion and $ 19 billion, respectively, and green dopants and P + are expected to be $ 1.37 billion and $ 1.35 billion, respectively.

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.

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.

JDI decided to sell LCD production equipment to a foreign client for 200 million dollars.

 

JDI announced that it has agreed to sell production equipment at its plant in Hakusan, Ishikawa Prefecture, to a foreign client for 200 million dollars.

The Hakusan plant was JDI’s mainstay factory, producing LCD panels for Apple. The plant was halted in July last year due to sluggish demand. JDI plans to clean up excess facilities that have caused poor performance.

JDI decided to sell LCD production equipment to Apple first and real estate to Sharp later, but negotiations have been delayed due to the effect of the corona virus.

The Hakusan plant was built with Apple’s $ 1.5 billion funds and operated at the end of 2016. But because Apple’s utilization of OLED panels on iPhones has increased in recent years, utilization rate of Hakusan plant has decreased. Moreover, it was a burden for JDI to repay the advances to Apple at the end of February 2020. It is a policy that the funds obtained through the sale of the equipment will be used to repay advances.

Foldable OLED UTG market expected to grow rapidly

As Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy Z Flip continues to be sold out in the market, Samsung Display’s foldable OLED cover window UTG (ultra thin glass) market is expected to grow rapidly.

According to UBI Research’s first quarter 2020 parts and materials market track, the UTG market is expected to grow to $ 160 million this year and to $ 640 million in 2023.

In Samsung Electronics’ first-generation foldable phone, the Galaxy folder, a transparent PI made of plastic was used as the cover window, but in the second-generation foldable phone, the Galaxy Z Flip, the cover window was replaced with UTG. The reason Samsung Display changed the transparent PI to UTG is that the glare of the glass cover when the screen is off gives a much more luxurious feeling than the transparent PI.

Samsung Display used transparent PI produced by Dongwoo Fine-Chem for the first-generation foldable OLED, but changed it to UTG produced by Dowooinsys technology. Glass for UTG is provided by Shott. To strengthen the foldable OLED ecosystem, Samsung Display secured a 27.7% stake in Dowooinsys and secured its position as the largest shareholder. Foldable OLED latecomers are now only developing out-folding type foldable OLEDs as transparent PI, but Samsung Display has changed materials to prevent latecomers from following the foldable OLED market at all.

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.

The OLED emitting material market will grow to $ 1.9 billion by 2020

UBI Research(www.ubiresearch.com), a company specializing in OLED market research, predicted that the market for OLED emitting materials for 2020 will rapidly grow to $ 1.9 billion.

According to the OLED emitting material market track published by UBI Research every quarter, the emitting material market in 2019 was $ 1.304 billion, up 39.2% from 2018’s $ 0.937 billion market.

The reason for the growth of the emitting market in 2019 is proportional to the growth of the OLED panel market for smartphones. This is because OLED shipments for smartphones in 2018 were 407 million units, but growth was 16% in 2019 at 474 million units. (Source: UBI Research 2020 OLED Display Market Track).

The reason why the emitting material market growth is greater than that of the panel market is that 6G flexible OLED factories of Chinese panel makers have started operation. The production amount is still small, but the yield is low, so the input of the substrate is twice the amount of production, so the consumption of emitting materials is very high. In addition, it is one of the reasons that the market for emitting materials has grown due to the small purchase volume compared to Samsung Display.

As a result of counting sales by emitting materials companies in 2019, UDC accounted for $ 233 million, accounting for 17.9% of total sales, and Samsung SDI accounted for $ 212 million (including Novaled sales), accounting for 16.2%.

In 2020, both panel makers’ capacity and utilization rate are expected to increase, and consumption of emitting materials is also expected to increase.

The total consumption of emitting materials in 2019 was 73 tons, but it is expected to increase to 102 tons in 2020.

Expected consumption for each material is 16.9 tons for HITL materials and 4.15 tons for blue host materials. Blue host and dopant materials are expected to increase rapidly from 2021 when Samsung Display starts mass production of QD-OLED.

2020 OLED Manufacturing Equipment Market Forecast

According to UBI Research’s annual equipment market track for 2020, the OLED manufacturing equipment market is expected to reach $ 9.51 billion in 2020. This is an increase of $ 1.2 billion compared to $ 8.31 billion in 2019.

Chinese panel makers have aggressively invested the 6G Flexible OLED line, but due to the high panel price, the adoption of flexible OLED produced in China in the smartphone market has not increased, leading to an oversupply of over 30% worldwide. For this reason, Korea has stopped investing in 6G flexible OLED, and Chinese panel makers are also delaying their investment time slightly.

However, by 2020, Samsung Display’s investment in the 8.5G QD-OLED 30K line began, and the equipment market will remain at the 2019 level.

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.

 

Galaxy S20 series, Korea’s first day of opening about 70,000 units

The opening volume of Samsung’s new smartphone Galaxy S20 series on the first day in Korea is half that of last year’s Galaxy S10.

According to the Korean telecommunications industry on February 28, the opening volume of the Galaxy S20 series is estimated at about 70,800 units. This figure is about 50% lower than the 140,000 units of the Galaxy S10, which was released in March last year.

In the industry, the Galaxy S20 Ultra is equipped with an 108 million pixel camera, so it was expected that the S20 series, which greatly enhanced the camera function, will be in high demand.

The decrease in the opening volume of the Galaxy S20 is estimated to have reduced demand for the Galaxy S20 due to the decrease in offline visitors due to the spread of the new corona virus.

IPhone shipments may drop sharply in 1Q

The impact of China’s corona virus is expected to reduce iPhone production by 50% year-on-year.

Foxconn’s iPhone plants are located in Zhangzhou and Shenzhen, China, where 90% of the iPhone is manufactured.

Foxconn’s Zhangzhou’s workforce is about 160,000, but only about 10% have returned since the spring holiday, and the Shenzhen plant has not resumed production.

Foxonn plans to increase overall utilization by 80% in March. For the time being, iPhone production is expected to decline.

Foxconn pays 3000 yuan (about $ 400) per person if it returns before March 7th to increase plant utilization.

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.

Foldable Phone Cover Window Material Competition To Heat up.

Ahead of Samsung Electronics’ unpacking event, interest in the foldable phone cover window material is hot. There was a concerned surprise that the Galaxy Fold, which was scheduled to be released in the first half of last year, was delayed for several months due to the tearing issue of the protective film. This year’s concern is whether Ultrathin Glass (UTG), which has emerged as a substitute for Colorless Polyimide (CPI), can be mass-produced without major issues.

Samsung Electronics will release the Galaxy Z flip known as “Clamshell” in the first half of this year and the Galaxy Fold 2 known as “Winner 2” in the second half of this year. The Clamshell is known to adopt UTG. This material is advantageous in terms of the hardness required for the use of the S Pen, the luxurious visibility and the soft touch unique to the glass. Moreover, the major reason for adopting UTG is known to remove wrinkle at the center of the screen, which has been pointed out as a disadvantage of CPI.

Prior to adopting UTG, Samsung Display invested $ 40.8M in Dowooinsys, UTG maker, and became the largest shareholder with 27.7% stake. The intention is to secure the stable supply of UTG and reduce its dependence on Japan for major materials.

<Ultrathin Glass (UTG) (Source : Dowooinsys homepage)>

However, there are also concerns about the adoption of UTG. Schott, AGC and Corning are also developing the product and they can produce substrates with a thickness of about 100 mm by the floating method or the slit nozzle method. To make it even thinner, Dowooinsys uses hot drawing or HF etching. The thickness of UTG to secure durability is believed to be 100 mm or more and with this thickness, the radius of curvature is about 2 ~ 3mm (~1mm for CPI), which reduces design freedom of the foldable phones. To improve durability, the UTG surface is coated with a polymer resin, which also prevents glass fragments from scattering when broken. The current problems of UTG are that mass production and yield are not yet secured due to the difficulty of the process, and that there exist traumatic worries on unexpected durability issues when released to the market.

Meanwhile, CPI material companies, which have been threatened by the news that UTG will be adopted for Clamshell, are also preparing to fight back. In order to remove the changeable window film (protective film) of PET material applied to Galaxy Fold, they are increasing the hardness of the hard coating on the CPI and developing a functional coating to give a glassy gloss. In particular, Dongwoo Fine-Chem, which did hard-coating on the CPI for Galaxy Fold, is known to simplify the process by developing hard coating materials including antifouling function. With all efforts added up , the CPI cover window structure is changed from the first generation foldable phone (PET + COA + CPI + COA) to the second generation foldable phone (CPI + COA), enabling the thickness to be reduced from about 200 mm to half, and the material cost and the process to be reduced.

<2019 Released Samsung Galaxy Fold Structure (Source: UBI Research Report)>

<Structure Prediction of the Samsung Galaxy Fold Follow-up Models: When Using UTG (Left) and CPI (Right) (Source: UBI Research)>

In addition to Sumitomo Chemical, which supplied to Galaxy Fold, Kolon Industries and SKC are also preparing for mass production of CPI. While UTG adoption seems to benefit to Clamshell with small screens, CPI is advantageous for larger screen sizes. UTG must make up for durability at the thickness retaining design freedom, and secure mass production system and price competitiveness through process improvement. CPI should strive to improve the hardness and appearance close to glass, and also increase price competitiveness. The material selection criteria will vary with the foldable phone models and customer response. Therefore the customer response for the Clamshell will be an important step in the future direction of the foldable phone cover window material. The market for the material is expected to grow rapidly, reaching $ 429.6M by 2023. The competition between UTG and CPI to take the market first has now begun.

<Market Forecast for Cover Window Materials (Source: UBI Research Report)>

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)>

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>

OLED TV camp threw a pitch in the 65-inch TV market for Black Friday.

On Black Friday, the day of the biggest sale season in the US, LG Electronics and Sony have lowered the price of 65-inch OLED TVs from the previous month, further increasing price competition in the premium TV market. On the other hand, 55-inch and 77-inch OLED TV prices are the same except for Sony’s XBR77A9G.

In November, LG Electronics’ OLED 65C9, a 65-inch OLED TV, was priced at US $ 2,100, down 12.5% from October’s US $ 2,400. Sony’s XBR65A8G’s November price was US $ 2,000, down 13% from the October price of US $ 2,300. Both models ship the same price at US $ 3,500.

Samsung’s QN65Q90, a 2019 QLED TV, is priced at US $ 2,200 in November, down 15.4% from the October price of US $ 2,600. The QN65Q90 also ships at US $ 3,500.

<LG Electronics’ OLED65C9, Sony’s XBR65A8G, and Samsung’s QN65Q90 price trend, Source: UBI Research DB, Bestbuy.com>

In the TV market, which is growing in size, 65-inch TVs are becoming mainstream along with 55-inch TVs. Since 55-inch OLED TVs have already formed a premium TV standard of US $ 1,500 since October, LG Electronics and Sony have continued to reduce the price of 65-inch OLED TVs, another mainstream, to compete with QLED TVs.

Since August, LG Electronics’ OLED65C9 and Sony’s XBR65A8G have formed a lower price range than Samsung’s QN65Q90, and Black Friday is also trying to get a price advantage with a price lower than QN65Q90.

LG Electronics and Sony, which are striving to popularize OLED TVs, are paying attention to whether OLED TV’s position in the premium TV market can be further expanded.

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>

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.”

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.

[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.

[Press Release] OLED production capacity will increase to double in 2023.

UBI Research has published [2019 OLED Equipment Report] that forecasts the OLED equipment market. According to the report, the total substrate area of display companies in 2019 will be 34.9 million square meters, which will be 68.5 million square meters in 2023 and double after four years.

OLED substrate area growth is attributable to investments made by OLED lines for TVs driven by Samsung Display and LG Display. Currently, OLED manufacturing lines for TVs are 8G lines optimized for 55-inch panel production. However, the demand for premium TVs is shifting from 55-inch OLED TVs to 65-inch TVs. By 2021, the 65-inch OLED TV market will account for more than 40%. In response to these market conditions, LG Display is preparing to invest 10.5G lines in the most efficient production of 65-inch panels. In 2023, the substrate area of a large OLED line is expected to occupy 42% of the total substrate area.

<OLED production capacity by generation>

The substrate area of the 6G line is expected to grow to 13 million square meters this year and to 19.3 million square meters in 2023. Most of this is due to investment by Chinese panel makers. In China, the smartphone market accounts for about 40% of the global market, so Chinese smartphone makers have a very high market share based on the domestic market. Huawei has recently become the world’s second-largest shipper based on its domestic market. Chinese panel makers are boldly adding a 6G flexible OLED line to Chinese smartphone makers, with the Chinese government’s huge support.

<OLED production capacity by country>

In 2019, Korea’s OLED production capacity (substrate area) will total 27.9 million square meters, accounting for 80% of its total production capacity and expanding to 54.8 million square meters by 2023. The market share will remain at 80% and lead the OLED industry.

Chinese panel makers are expected to stay at around 20% as they are investing only in OLED production lines for mobile device.

The OLED manufacturing equipment market (excluding logistics equipment) is estimated at $ 28.4 billion for four years from 2019 to 2022 due to investment by Korean and Chinese panel makers. Among them, the sixth-generation equipment market is expected to account for 61% of the total equipment market, at $ 17.2 billion.

<Equipment Market Forecast by Generation (2019 ~ 2022)>

[Press Release] AMOLED components and materials market grew to $ 24.15 billion in 2023

Although Samsung Electronics and Apple’s OLED smartphone market are stalled, Chinese smartphone makers are gradually increasing their use of OLEDs based on the huge smartphone market in China. As a result, BOE and Chinese panel makers have aggressively established a Gen6n flexible OLED plant, which is driving the OLED industry.

As a result of UBI Research’s panel makers’ operation rate analysis due to OLED plant expansion and supply and demand, the market for various component materials (excluding light emitting materials) that make up OLEDs is expected to reach $13.9 billion in 2019 and expand to $ 24.15 billion in 2023.

Recently, as the production of foldable OLED has started, various kinds of films that are not applied to LCD are emerging as core materials.

In the [2019 OLED Components and Materials Report] published by UBI Research, we examined the foldable OLED structure of Samsung Display, LG Display, and BOE, and analyzed the thickness and characteristics of the films that make up the module.

In the OLED components and materials market, components for TV OLEDs will grow rapidly to reach $ 19.1 billion in 2023 and lead the OLED industry.

OLED emitting materials market to grow to $ 1.71 billion in 2019

OLED light emitting materials market is gradually increasing as Chinese companies enter OLED panel market led by Samsung Display and LG Display.

The 2019 OLED emitting material report, published by UBI Research, predicts that the emitting material market in 2019 will reach $ 1.17 billion. 2021 and 2023 are expected to grow to $ 1.87 billion and $ 2.0 billion, respectively.

The size of light emitting materials consumed by Korean companies will account for 70.2% in 2019 ($ 0.82 billion), and its share will increase to 75.6% in 2023.

Korea’s emitting material market is growing because the consumption of OLED materials for TVs is soaring. In 2019, 21.1% of light emitting materials for TVs are expected to increase to 49.7% in 2023.

[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.

55 inch and 65 inch OLED TV prices proximity to premium LCD TV

Recently, Sony’s 65 inch OLED TV, XBR65A1E, is price at US$ 300 more than Samsung’s QN65Q7 on the Best Buy basis. Prices of LED TV and LCD TV are becoming increasingly competitiveness in the premium TV market.

As of January 16, Best Buy compares the price of OLED TVs between LG’s C8 series, Sony’s A1E series and Samsung’s Q7F series.

<55 inch premium TV price comparison>

LG’s OLED 55C8 prices dropped 47% from March 2018 to US$ 1,700, which is only US$ 200 higher than Samsung’s QN55Q7.

<65 inch premium TV price comparison>

In the 65 inch TV market, LG’s OLED65C8 price dropped 30% from March 2018 to US$ 2,700, while Sony fell 40% to US$ 2,500, which is higher than Samsung’s QN65Q7 by US$ 500 and US$ 300. The prices gap has been greatly reduced.

In the premium TV market, OLED TVs are rapidly catching up with LCD TV prices because LG Display’s OLED production yield stabilization is the biggest factor.

LG Display is currently constructing Gen8 OLED lines in Guangzhou and Gen10.5 lines in Paju. As a result, the production of large size OLED will increase further, and the OLED TV market will become more prominent in the premium TV market.

[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.

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.

 

UBI research just issued 2018 2Q AMOLED Display Market Tracks

UBI Research recently published “2Q18 AMOLED Display Market Tracks”, which includes market updates of the second quarter of 2018. The report covers OLED display panel makers’ investment status, OLED display market forecasts from 2018 to 2022, OLED demand and supply trends, and competitiveness analysis of OLED Smartphone business for Samsung Display and other OLED display panel makers.

The market update, published with the Excel spreadsheet, describes the production line status and the added line status through future investments of the 15 OLED display panel makers worldwide. Also, it describes not only the major OLED application market such as smart phones and TVs, but also the market forecast by country.

The demand for OLED mobile sets (including smart phones and smart watches) in the first quarter of 2018 dropped to 98 million units from 130 million units in the fourth quarter of last year, due to the lower-than-expected performance of the premium smartphone market, where Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy S series and Apple’s iPhone occupy most of the market. OLED mobile set market is to recover gradually until 3Q, when Apple’s new smartphone model is launched, and by the end of 2018, the demand is expected to recover as to the similar level of the same period of last year. In addition, Samsung Display is anticipated to have a positive impact on the recovery of the Smartphone market in the second half of the year by securing competitiveness by lowering the sales price of rigid OLED panel for mobile phone to about US$ 25 to compete with LCD in China.

Consumers' smartphone replacement cycle is getting longer due to the reason that there is no revolutionary change in the new model compared to the past, and the Smartphone penetration in most of the countries except for India, South America and Africa is reaching the limit. Accordingly, the outlook for the downturn is mostly forecasted in the recent smartphone market. There is a growing interest in technology and design to apply a different form factor to revive the market. In this regard, Samsung Electronics' foldable OLED smartphone, which is scheduled to be released later this year or early next year, is expected to create a new momentum. Attention is focused on whether a folding- type flexible display (Dynamic Flexible Display) will be succeeded as a new type of smartphone from the existing edge-type flexible display (Static Flexible Display).

 

UBI Research predicts that the OLED Smartphone market will grow from 430 million units in 2018 to 900 million units in 2022, and the market for foldable OLED Smartphone is to be from about 1million units in 2019 to 18million units in 2022. This reflects the expansion of OLED panel production lines by panel makers such as LG Display and BOE, besides Samsung Display. It will be updated as new applications are developed in future and the Smartphone market moves forward.

In OLED panel market, OLED panel for Smartphone still occupies 91% of the whole market. Samsung Display has accounted for 90% of total OLED panel market performance and LG Display is followed with about 7.8% share.

OLED TVs, which are continuously increasing in demand worldwide compared to the Smartphone market, are expected to be in short supply this year. LG Display, the only OLED TV panel supplier, will continue to invest in production for the next five years. With the recent approval of new production facility for OLED TV panel in Guangzhou, the full-scale equipment move-in is expected this year. In Paju P10 investment plan, it was confirmed that LG Display will invest in OLED TV panel production line instead of LCD line investment which was examined before. Thus, the OLED TV market is projected to grow to US $ 5.6 billion. 

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.

The second half of 2018 just started, Chinese OLED panel makers are chasing Korea. Where are they?


작성자: 오하나 (Analyst, hanaoh@ubiresearch.com)
The display industry has been in a state of confusion by the recent leaking of OLED display panel production technology into China.

As of 2018, five companies (BOE, Everdisplay, Tianma, Truly, and Visionox) have OLED production lines in China, among which only BOE has a line that can produce OLED displays (“Plastic OLED”) using plastic substrates, applied to the premium smart phones such as Samsung Galaxy and Apple’s iPhone. Other panel makers are building lines to produce plastic OLED displays targeting mass production this year and next year.

Monthly production capacity planned by Chinese panel makers by the end of 2020 is about 250K, which is more than the monthly production capacity of Samsung Display (about 180K). If China produces a similar level of panels through mass production, it is clear that Korea cannot defeat China in terms of production costs. The main application of the 6G plastic OLED display is a smart phone; however, the global Smartphone market has slowed down since 2015, especially in the premium Smartphone market, there seem no new markets. If mass applications such as smartphones are not developed, panel makers that do not have cost competitiveness will be hard to survive due to a large oversupply in the near-term and falling panel prices.

Korea is evaluated to have a considerable technical advantage since the production of plastic OLED displays requires a high level of technology and process know-how for the time. However, the industry expects that Chinese government’s support for the panel makers with the background of capital as part of the “China Manufacturing 2025” strategy, will shorten the technology gap quickly.

Chinese panel makers ahead of their mass production by 2019 are also reported to be more aggressively scouting Korea’s major OLED engineers. There are about 100 Korean OLED engineers in Chengdu (B7) plant that produces plastic OLED display of BOE. GVO is also known to have recently hired some important OLED engineers with high salaries. CSOT, which has been known to suffer difficulties from the initial research stage, seems to be expediting the construction of mobile OLED production line, employing Korean OLED engineers at major processes from last year. In addition, HKC, which is not a panel maker, is reported to have hired OLED engineers. This is interpreted as a work for investing in the OLED production line of HKC which has only LCD line, and HKC has recently been named as the merger of TIANMA OLED division.
As of 2018, there are no panel makers in China that can produce OLED display panels at the level produced by Korean panel makers. Although the production capacity and sales structure of Chinese panel makers are different from those of Korea, it is difficult to define yields on the same basis. However, the yield of BOE’s Chengdu (B7) plant, known as the mass production line, is still investigated as a single digit. Other panel makers also expect the product quality and yield problems to be difficult to be resolved by the first half of 2019 even if the mass production lines are launched within the year.

In order for the display industry, which contributes significantly to the Korean economy, to maintain its dominant position in the global display industry, it must maintain its competitiveness through various product development, production and sales strategies. Meanwhile, the size of the display industry needs to grow for the growth of the worldwide OLED industry. In order for Chinese panel makers to supply OLED panels with diverse applications, securing the yield might be the key.

In Premium TV market, OLED portion is growing.

Following Bang & Olufsen and SONY, Philips’ OLED TV was launched in Korea on June 11, 2018.

Philips’ OLED TV, applied with LG Display’s OLED panel, is available in two models; 55 – inch and 65 – inch. It features a quad – core CPU, HDR 10, Dolby Vision and DTS surround.

<Philips OLED TV, Source: Philips>

In coming September, Germany’s Loewe plans to launch three (bild5, bild7, bild7 edition) 65-inch OLED TVs using LG Display’s panel, and also Hisense is scheduled to release OLED TV this month.

Especially, when Hisense, which is the leader in the Chinese TV market, releases OLED TVs, it is expected to enhance the awareness about OLED TV in China as well as increase the portion of OLED in the premium TV market.

In April, Kim Sang-don, CFO of LG Display, said in the conference call “The number of existing OLED camps was expanded to 15 from 13, adding two. LG Display will actively respond to increasing market demand by expanding productivity through the reduction of tack time and by converting Chinese fab and, if necessary, domestic LCD fab to OLED fab.”

In the ‘OLED/Display comprehensive seminar’ held by UBI Research, So Hyun-chul, director of Shinhan Financial Investment, said that Sony ranked the first in the premium TV market in 12 years and Sony’s share price rose 445% with its main driving force of OLED TV.

In addition, LG Electronics’ HE division achieved an operating margin of 8.1% last year. In the major set makers, OLED seems to be the Key factor that increases the company’s sales and improves the market share in the premium TV market. As such, OLED portion is anticipated to expand further in the premium TV market.

Meanwhile, UBI Research predicts that OLED TV sales will be increased by about 30% annually and the revenue is projected as about US$ 5.7 billion in 2022 through the ‘2018 OLED Panel Industry Report’, which was published in February.

Market for OLED materials and components is forecast to grow to US$37 billion in 2022.

In the 2018 OLED material and component report and Market Track published by UBI Research, the entire market for OLED materials and components market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 29% by 2022, forming a market of US$ 37 billion in 2022.

<Market forecast for OLED materials and components>

The overall OLED material and component market forecasted in this report is calculated based on the panel makers’ available capacity and includes all the materials and components for OLED production.

The total OLED material and component market is counted as US$ 9,794 million in 2017 and is expected to grow by 35% to US$ 13,264 million in 2018.

Major growth drivers are mentioned as capacity expansion of Samsung Display and LG Display inclusive of Gen6 flexible OLED mass production lines of Chinese panel makers.

UBI Research commented “Utilization of Samsung Display in the first quarter of 2018 was poor, but it is turning to normal from the second quarter, and LG Display and Chinese panel makers are also aiming to mass-produce this year. In particular, it will have a major impact on the growth of the materials and components market in 2018 whether Samsung Display’s A4, LG Display’s E5, E6 and BOE’s B7 lines will be in full operation.”

In the 2018 OLED material and component report, the market is forecast for 20 kinds of major materials and components used in OLED for mobile devices and large-area OLED, including substrate glass, carrier glass, PI and organic materials for TFT. In addition, the report covers industry trends and key issues related to the core materials, while Market Track forecasts the expected purchase volume and purchase amount by panel makers.

Foldable OLED device is nearing commercialization. What are the technical challenges to be solved?

Attentions are growing for the foldable smartphone since it can provide a wider screen and higher resolution than the display of conventional smartphones, while maintaining the portability of the smartphone. The foldable smartphone is a smartphone when folded, and it becomes a tablet PC when it is unfolded. Following Samsung Electronics, Huawei is also aiming to launch a smartphone with a foldable display this year.

Yi Choong-Hoon, president of UBI Research, said, “Ideal foldable displays require such kind of reliability that there is no problem even with more than 300,000 times folding at the bending radius of 1R or less. For this, some changes or innovations are needed in the material and structure of the display.

In the ‘2018 OLED Component & Material Report’ published by UBI Research on May 21, 2018, the key issues and development trends for foldable OLED display with a bending radius of 1R are described together with the classified contents of structural change to secure reliability at thickness reduction and alternative material development.

<Change in OLED panel thickness accoding to bending radius, 2018 OLED component & material report, UBI Research>

In addition, the report covers the application status, development trends, and market forecast of key components and materials for rigid OLED and flexible OLED for mobile device, and large-area OLED for TV. Thus, it is helpful for the related part and material companies to develop their future directions, establish business strategies, and analyze technology and market trends.

In order to accelerate the mass production of solution processed OLED?

At the latest OLED technology trends seminar organized by UBI Research in Seoul COEX on April 26th, professor Seo presented about the status of solution processed OLED for large-area TV production.

Professor Seo emphasized that there are four technical challenges to advance the mass production of solution processed OLED.

 

The first challenge is the development of materials that can form stable and flat thin films. When the emitting material for solution process is applied, the solvent causes a convection phenomenon due to solubility and boiling point. Therefore, it is difficult to make a flat film because the speed at which the solvent flows is different for each region.

 

The second is the development of cross linked HTL materials. Emitting material companies are mixing cross-linking agents into HTL materials for solution process to solve intermixing problems between layers. However, a pinhole is formed due to a cross linking reaction with the surrounding small molecular materials when crosslinked materials in small molecule type are used. This kind of pinhole lowers the uniformity of the thin film, and therefore it is necessary to develop crosslinked HTL materials that can improve the reproducibility and lifetime of OLED in solution process.

 

The third is the jetting condition. He proposed a jetting condition that can minimize the volume deviation of the emitting material for solution process every head since it is necessary to drop the emitting material for solution process of less than 4 pl to the desired position in the size of 20-50 um to realize 8K. Lastly, he commented that it is required to optimize the drying process of solvent. UBI Research described that the solution OLED process has a simple (5 layer) structure and high material utilization efficiency compared to the conventional deposition process. In addition, it is possible to manufacture large-area OLED with RGB structure without the division of mother glass at Gen8 or higher. When major panel makers adopt solution process, it is available to reduce the manufacturing cost of OLED due to the decrease of equipment and equipment scale as well as material cost and labor cost reduction. According to the 2018 Annual OLED Display Industry Report and 2018 Emitting material Industry Report published by UBI research, solution processed OLED is to be mass produced from 2019 in earnest, and the shipment is expected to be 0.2 million units in 2019 and 9.2 million units in 2022. Accordingly, the emitting material market for solution process is estimated to grow to US$ 110 million in 2022 from US$ 9 million in 2019.

Samsung Electronics’ Display Business Operating Profit in 1Q 2018 slowed down to KRW 410 billion

Samsung Electronics reported sales of KRW 60.56 trillion and operating profit of KRW 15.64 trillion in the first quarter of 2018 at the conference held on April 26. Its display division generated sales of KRW7.54 trillion with the operating profit of KRW410 billion. Display sales QoQ and YoY are -32.6% and 3.4%, respectively, and operating profit QoQ and YoY are -70.9% and -68.5%, respectively. OLED sales accounted for 70% of its total display sales. According to Samsung Electronics, the profitability of OLED segment in the first quarter of 2018 declined due to a decrease in demand from major customers and intensified competition with LTPS LCD for rigid OLED. In spite of the downturn in sales due to seasonal weakness and the decline in panel prices, LCD division achieved similar profitability as the previous quarter, thanks to the increased sales portion of high value-added products such as large-size and UHD and continuous cost reductions.

 

OLED demand is expected to continue to decline in the second quarter of 2018, and Samsung Electronics plans to expand its customer base while striving to secure competitiveness through cost reduction and production efficiency improvement. Although LCD segment is also expected to continue to show oversupply in 2Q 2018 due to the launch of new LCD lines, Samsung Electronics plans to secure profitability through timely development of high value-added and differentiated products, and cost reduction activities. Samsung Electronics said the demand of OLED panels for mobile devices is anticipated to gradually recover in the second half of 2018, while flexible products are expected to be the main focus of premium products. Also it emphasized that Samsung will expand its market share by expanding customer base through new technologies and new products, and strengthening cost competitiveness, together with technology differentiation with LCD and enhancement of new applications capacity. For the LCD segment, uncertainties are to be increased as Chinese panel makers continue to expand production volumes with the fierce competitions competition among companies. Samsung mentioned that it will continue to focus on differentiating with the large and high-end premium products and strengthening strategic partnerships with major customers to secure profitability.  In the first quarter of 2018, Samsung Electronics sold 86 million mobile phones and 5 million tablets. The sales for mobile phone sales in Q2 2018 are expected to decline compared to the previous quarter, and tablet sales are expected to maintain the level of the previous quarter.

 

Total investment of Samsung Electronics in the first quarter of 2018 was 8.6 trillion won, of which 0.8 trillion won was invested in the display. Although the investment plan for this year has not been finalized yet, it is expected to decline from 2017 due to the rapid expansion of flexible OLED production, new technology development, and facility investment to prepare for market growth last year. Choi Kwon-Young, Vice President of Samsung Display said, “Currently, the mass production of A4 line is ready for operation in accordance with the agreed schedule with the customer. And A3 line is trying to minimize the drop in operation rate.” He continued “We are under development by focusing on Quantum dot and 8K technologies to meet customer needs for big screen TV market. Also we are interested in various next-generation display technologies including micro LED.”

 

Samsung Electronics has continued research and development for the commercialization of foldable phone, and now it is working with various companies to improve the product’s completeness.” Samsung said. Further, it added “We are focusing on improving the completeness of the product so that it can give real value to the consumers rather than simply launching it for the first time in the world. If the parts performance and durability for the implementation of the foldable phone are more stabilized, and various use cases are found with the emergence of new form factor, we will disclose separately the timing of its commercialization.”

Leading the OLED market of Samsung Display continues this year

According to OLED Market Track, which was published by UBI Research in the first quarter of 2018, AMOLED sales and shipments amounted to US$ 8.86 billion and 130 million units, respectively, in the fourth quarter of 2017. The sales amount is 100.2% higher than the fourth quarter of 2016. Among them, Samsung Display’s sales and shipments account for 91.6% and 94.5%, respectively, and keep its absolute position.

 

In the fourth quarter of 2017, the total number of AMOLED market for smart phones was 120 million units, representing 95.5% of the total market. AMOLED panels for smart phones sold by Samsung Display accounted for 97.5%, with 119 million units.

 

In 2018, the AMOLED market for smart phones is expected to reach 470 million units, with Samsung Display expecting its market share to maintain over 91.5 % with 430 million units.

<4Q’17 AMOLED market>

<2018 AMOLED market for smartphone>

Galaxy S9 – Curious about Samsung’s strategy to launch Foldable Phone

Interests in Galaxy S9 and Note 9, which will be released soon, are growing. There are a lot of people who want to figure out in advance the features of Foldable Phone, which Samsung announced to be launched within this year, through Galaxy S9 and Note9. However, it is impossible to predict the specifications of the Foldable Phone with the contents that have been opened so far.

In general, Galaxy S9 does not seem to be much different, compared to the previous S8. The front fingerprint sensor, which has been anticipated since last year, may not apply, and it seems to adopt iris recognition and fingerprint sensor at the back side. Unlike the S8, which was noticed in the name of Infinity Display, it will not expect much different concept in the design part. The CPU will be equipped with Samsung’s Exynos 9810 chip, except for the US model.

So what is the strategy of the Galaxy series this year? Some say that iPhoneX’s sales volume is a failure, but if you consider adding iPhoneX to the 3-model lineup in the new 2-model lineup, Apple’s overall performance is a success. In the meantime, there seems to require a new strategy for the Galaxy flagship model, which was dominated by superior image quality with adopting OLED display.  The Galaxy S9 appears to have little change, except for a slight improvement in performance. Therefore, it is curious whether it might be Samsung’s planned intention to concentrate on launching the Foldable Phone.

<Spec Comparison for Galaxy flagship models>

AMOLED Display Market Track, just issued – Market Performance, Market Forecast, ASP, Supply and Demand Analysis

According to the market performance data of the AMOLED Display Market Track published by UBI Research in February 2018, total AMOLED shipments and sales in 2017 were recorded as 440 million units and US$ 27.1 billion, up 13.6% and 62.3% respectively, compared to the previous year.

The number of AMOLED smart phone shipments grew to 95.1% in the total AMOLED market in 2017, and its market share for the revenue was 89.7%. The number of shipments of flexible AMOLEDs reached 140 million units in 2017, increased by 2.1 times compared to the previous year.  Analysis shows that shipments of flexible AMOLEDs will reach 230 million units by 2018, with a share of 46%.

AMOLED shipments for TVs grew by 1.8 times YoY to 1.72 million units in 2017, and the AMOLED market for TV is expected to continue to grow, as LG Display’s 8 G plant in China is scheduled to start operation from 2H 2019.

<Overall AMOLED Market Forecast>

From 2018, AMOLED market is forecasted to change significantly.

In terms of supply, shipments of displays are projected to decline compared to the global capacity of display makers due to the accelerated increase in the size of AMOLED panels and Samsung Display’s shift of rigid AMOLED lines into automotive and foldable applications.

In terms of demand, the demand growth for AMOLED panels for smartphones is expected to decrease. In 2018, demand for flexible AMOLED panels for Chinese set makers is expected to decrease due to the introduction of low-priced full screen LCDs and rising prices of flexible AMOLED panels.

According to the market forecast data of AMOLED Display Market Track, the total AMOLED shipment market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 17.5%, reaching 995 million units in 2022. The revenue is projected to grow at a CAGR of 22%, forming a market of US$ 80.5 billion in 2022.

<Small and Medium sized AMOLED, Supply and Demand Analysis>

According to Yi Choong-Hoon, CEO of UBI Research, “20% oversupply is expected to occur by 2021, however, since then, panel prices have fallen due to the entry of Chinese panel makers into the flexible AMOLED market, and oversupply will decrease by 11% in 2022 “.

Meanwhile, AMOLED Display Market Track, which was published on February 12, 2018, covers AMOLED market performance and forecast by quarter, year and application. It also provides data and graphs analyzed in various aspects such as ASP and supply & demand analysis.

 

Samsung Electronics, 2017 display business exceeded annual business profit of 5 trillion won

Samsung Electronics achieved sales of 65.98 trillion won and business profit of 15.15 trillion won through the fourth quarter of 2017 performance conference call which was held on 31 January. Moreover, Samsung Electronics achieved 11.18 trillion won and business profit of 1.41 trillion won in display business.

 

Display business sales was increased up to 35% compared to the former quarter and 50.7% compared to the same quarter of the last year. The business profit was increased up to 45.4% compared to the former quarter and 52% compared to the same quarter of the last year. Display business achieved annual sales of 34.46 trillion won and business profit of 5.39 trillion won. OLED sales in the display business accounted for the latter half of 70%.

 

According to Samsung Electronics, the performance of the fourth quarter of 2017 was developed compared to the former quarter by the expanded supply of flagship smartphone panels for major OLED customers. However, profits of LCD department were decreased due to seasonally low demand and falling panel prices.

 

Samsung Electronics reported that profitability may be weakened due to the intensifying competition with LTPS LCD and sluggish demand for OLED in the first quarter of 2018. Samsung Electronics plans to expand sales portion of flagship product panels, diversifying customers and improve profitability by productivity improvement.

 

Although the LCD department is a seasonally low season, it is expected that the line rater of operation will be stabilized by high-resolution and large-scale trend of TV and effects of sports event in the first half of year. Samsung Electronics plans to increase profitability by strengthening yield and cost-cutting activities and expand sales portion of high value-added products such as UHD, large-size and quantum dot in order to raise profitability.

 

In 2018, OLED department is expected to become the mainstream in the mobile market. Samsung Electronics plans to actively respond to demand from major smartphone companies and expand its market share by strengthening technology differentiation from LTPS LCD.

Also, Samsung Electronics will strengthen its capabilities in new application areas such as IT and electronics to secure new growth based on technology and cost competitiveness.

 

LCD department reported that uncertainty of the market may be more severe as Chinese company expand its capacity and intensify their competition.

 

In the fourth quarter of 2017, Samsung Electronics sold 86 million cell phones and 7 million tablets. It is reported that sales volume of cell phone and tablet sales are expected to decline slightly compared to the first quarter of 2018.

 

Samsung Electronics’ facility investment in 2017 was a total of 43.4 trillion won and 13.5 trillion won was invested in the display business. In the case of display business, Samsung Electronics invested greatly on OLED capacity expansion to raise profits through flexible OLED panel customers. The 2018 investment plan is not yet settled but is expected to decline compared to the last year.

 

Kwon Young Choi, managing director of Samsung Display said, “We are continuously expanding sales channels in China in order to reduce reliance on mobile OLED sales to specific customers and decrease of volumes of orders on iPhone X will not be significantly affected by temporary fluctuations in demand.”

 

He added that “we are preparing various applications including foldable phone to meet customer demand and it is important to raise the level of perfection to the level desired by the market and consumers.” He also said that “the new production complex (A5) has not yet been specifically defined in terms of operation time, production products, and production volume.”

LG Electronics Will Expand OLED TV Shipments to More Than 5 Million Units by 2020

LG Electronics announced through its Q4 2017 earnings conference call, the sales of HE (Home Entertainment) Division increased by more than 10% compared to the same period of last year due to the demand for high-demand season of TV market and the sales of premium TV.

Regarding the 2018 forecast, “there are still external environmental risks such as exchange rate fluctuations, but the global TV market will increase with sporting events”, they added.

As a result, the HE Division will pursue sales growth through marketing centered on premium TVs while maintaining a stable profit structure through continuous cost-cutting activities.

They answered to the question when OLED TV shipments exceed 5 million units, “OLED TV shipments in 2017 were doubled compared to 2016 and the sales are expected to rise at a similar level in 2018”. And, “if this trend continues, that point will be 2020″, they said.

They also emphasized that it is more important for OLED TVs to have a premium position in the TV market rather than shipments, and how much they will secure OLED TVs.

On the other hand, the sales of MC(mobile communication) Division increased 9% QoQ to KRW3.655 trillion thanks to the release of LG V30, a premium smartphone equipped with OLED, in the fourth quarter of last year. However, the division posted an operating loss of KRW213.2 billion due to increased costs of smartphone major parts such as memory and marketing expenses.

In order to overcome these operating losses, MC Division plans to increase customer satisfaction by implementing the strategies that enhance product completeness and reliability.

The MC Division said, “We will release the next strategy model within the first half of the year when it is deemed to be ready enough after securing its competitiveness rather than pursuing the timing of competitors.”

In addition, the next strategic model will strengthen AI ​​function, audio and camera functions, which are the strengths of LG Electronics. Until the next strategic model is launched, we will continue to release upgraded and mid-priced models of LG V30 and G6. At the same time, we will minimize sales losses by reducing costs with our unique platform.

AMOLED Display Market track – Investment & MP Line Status, just published

According to the investment trend data from AMOLED Display Market Track published by UBI research, the net area capacity of AMOLED production worldwide is expected to grow at a CAGR of 48% from 2018 to 2020.

As a result of analyzing the glass area based on the overall equipment capacity, the net area capacity of AMOLED mass production was 13 million square meters in 2017, and it is expected to grow more than three times to 40 million square meters in 2020.

The net area capacity of AMOLED mass production area is projected to grow from 4 million square meters in 2017 to 8.4 million square meters in 2020, and that of small and medium-sized AMOLED is to be increased about 3.5 times from 9.1 million square meters in 2017 to 32 million square meters in 2020.

Analysis shows that LG Display’s net area capacity will be increased by 6.9 million square meters from 2018 to 2020, followed by Samsung Display with 5.8 million square meters increase and BOE with 4.4 million square meters increase.

On the other hand, when compared to the net area capacity for small and medium-sized AMOLED, Samsung Display is expected to increase by 5.8 million square meters, with the largest investment, followed by BOE of 4 million square meters’ increase and LG Display of 2.9 million square meters increase.

<Net area capacity of AMOLED mass production by company>

According to Lee Choong Hoon, CEO of UBI Research, LG Display’s AMOLED mass production line investment in China will lead LGD to more than double BOE’s AMOLED production capacity in terms of net area capacity in 2020, however, BOE is expected to overtake LG Display at small and medium-sized panel capacity in 2019.

AMOLED Display Market Track consists of investment data, market performance, market forecast, ASP, cost analysis, competitiveness analysis and so on. The investment data in this report contains details of the investment history of the panel companies, current status, and investment prospects for the next three years. Also, the useful data and graphs analyzed in various aspects are provided in excel format.

Approval of LG Display Plant in China, cementing the global No.1position in large OLED market

LG Display has earned approval to invest in Gen 8.5 OLED panel plant in Guangzhou, China.  As the government, who has delayed the approval due to the possible technology leakage, finally gives ‘a conditional approval’ for the plan, the construction of large size OLED panel factory will embark on.

 

The Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy (MOTIE) hosted ‘the 17th Industrial Technology protection Committee’ on June 26th, in which government officials and 20 civilian members participated to approve LG Display’s overseas expansion of OLED panel manufacturing technology on the condition of maintaining the localization ratio of equipment and materials to a certain level, preparing local security measures, and investing in next-generation technologies in Korea.

 

This approval would be a chance for LG Display to further increase the productivity of large size OLED panels and strengthen its market competitiveness.  In addition, they can expect sales growth and tariff reduction in Chinese TV market.  At the IMID 2018 held in BEXCO in Busan last August, LG Display CTO In-Byeong Kang said, “ Recently OLED TV has overtaken LCD TV market share in North and Central Americas and Europe, but not yet in China.  We will increase our market share of OLED TV in China, which is recently being raised as a largest TV market in the world.”

<Market share of global OLED TV market: LG Display>

LG Display plans to strengthen its presence in larger OLEDs by completing both the newly approved Guangzhou Gen OLED line and Paju Gen 10.5 line.  According to UBI Research, LG Display’s 55-inch and larger OLED panel shipments are projected to increase from 2.4 million units in 2018 to 10 million units in 2022.

<Expectation of 55-inch and larger OLED panel shipments 55 inch >

Flexible OLED Leading the OLED Panel Market from 2019

■ Flexible OLED is expected to ship 480 million units in 2019, surpassing Rigid OLED shipments.

■ Full-screen OLED among Flexible OLED is expected to have an average market share of 78.3% by 2022, dominating the market.

■ Foldable OLED is expected to ship in earnest from 2019.

Flexible OLED shipments are expected to exceed rigid OLED shipments in 2019. According to the ‘2017 Flexible OLED Annual Report’ published by Ubi Research, flexible OLEDs are expected to ship 480 million units in 2019, surpassing 409 million units of rigid OLED shipments. In addition, flexible OLED shipments will grow at a CAGR of 41% starting in 2018, reaching 1,285 million units in 2022 with forecasted revenue of US$ 59.4 billion.

<OLED Market Share Forecast by Substrate in 2018 ~ 2022>

Recently, as the hardware technology of mobile devices has been leveled up, set makers targeting the premium market are trying to differentiate their products by adopting OLED. Especially, set makers are beginning to introduce flexible OLED capable of full screen, as the needs of consumers who want a wider screen in mobile devices (even in the same sizes) on the increase.

 

Accordingly, panel makers are continuing to invest in flexible OLED mass production. Since Chinese panel makers such as BOE, CSOT and Visionox are expected to start mass production of Gen6 flexible OLED starting in 2018, flexible OLED shipments will likely grow at an average growth rate of 59% per annum, reaching 354 million units by 2022.

 

This report compares the structure and process of rigid OLED and flexible OLED, and analyzes the trends of technology development for foldable OLED implementation by layer. It also compares the flexible OLED application technology of Samsung Electronics, Apple, and LG Electronics which released mobile devices with full screen OLED. The report also forecasts the flexible OLED market from 2018 to 2022 by categorizing into various perspectives including flexible type, country and generation.

 

According to the report, full screen OLEDs of flexible OLEDs will ship 265 million units in 2018 with a market share of 82.1%, and 1,022 million shipments will be made in 2022, accounting for 79.5% of the market, leading the flexible OLED market. In addition, the foldable OLED, which has been receiving a great deal of attention recently, is expected to ship 5 million units from 2019 and 53 million units by 2022.

<Foldable OLED Shipment Forecast in 2018~ 2022>

LG Display wins OLED TV Premium Market

LG Display’s OLED TV panel sales in October more than doubled thanks to surging sales of major global TV customers such as LG Electronics, Sony and Philips.

 

LG Display’s OLED TV panel sales exceeded 200,000 units for the first time in October, followed by sales plan of exceeding 210,000 units in November.

 

With the help of Sony’s OLED TV which released LG Display’s OLED TV for the first time this year, it has achieved an overwhelming market share of 74% both in units and sales in the 55” and 65” TV market and OLED TV Set.

(September NPD North American aggregate basis)

 

In North America, Sony’s sales volume in September increased by 2.1 times compared to the previous month, and in Europe, Philips in its third quarter increased by 5.9 times compared to the previous quarter, and sales of LG Electronics, family of OLED TV, together with North America and Europe, experienced an increase of OLED TV sales in September with a surge of 1.5 times compared to the previous month.

(September NPD North America, GFK Europe / CIS 14 countries)

 

Particularly last end of July, it had only been 3 months since LG Display announced the move to invest in OLED to lead the future display market when TV sales are rapidly growing, with OLED becoming the trend of the Premium TV market.

 

This trend is due to the surge in consumer demand after 13 global TV companies introduced OLED TVs in front of the premium TV lineup at the IFA exhibition last September, and the demand for LG Display have increased not only for until the end of the year but even until next year.

 

Accordingly, LG Display’s OLED TV sales are expected to leap over 1.7 million units this year, exceeding market expectations of 1.5 million units, and 2.7 million units are expected to be sold next year.

 

LG Display plans to raise utilization of the E4-2 line to the maximum in Paju, which started operation in this second half of the year.

 

LG Display Vice Chairman Han Sang-Bum states, “OLEDs are rapidly emerging as a premium TV market and are growing steadily in accordance to our production capacity.”

 

Meanwhile, LG Display has actively promoted the trend of OLEDs in the display market and has recently opened ‘OLED Day’ events in China and Europe. In addition, OLED Experience Center has been installed in 8 major cities in China to show OLED potential and future technologies to consumers.

OLED TV, leading the premium TV market, LG Electronics HE division created the largest operating profit

On the 26th, LG Electronics announced its 2017 Q3 performance through conference call. LG Electronics recorded consolidated sales of KRW 15.2241 trillion in 3Q and operating profit of KRW 516.1 billion. Sales and operating profit grew by 15.1% and 82.2% YoY respectively. Sales are the highest in 3Qs ever.

In particular, sales of premium TV increased, and HE division posted record-high quarterly results with operating profit (KRW 458.0 billion) and operating margin (9.9%). In addition, operating profit (KRW 882.9 billion) and operating margin (9.2%) are the highest in the household appliances business including household appliances and TVs.

LG Electronics announced that its HE division posted sales of KRW 4.6376 trillion and operating profit of KRW458 billion, and sales of premium TVs such as OLED TVs and UltraHD TVs increased steadily, with 12.0% YoY growth. It is known that the operating profit and operating margin (9.9%) reached a record high on a quarterly basis due to improved profit structure by expanding sales of premium products.

LG Electronics said on Oct 11 that monthly sales of OLED TV have exceeded 10,000 units for the first time in Korea and that it is speeding up its popularization. LG OLED TV has been recognized for its image quality by being awarded the top spot in the performance evaluation conducted by non-profit consumer magazines in 11 countries including the US and UK this year and the price of the 55-inch OLED TV has dropped to the mid-2 million level, and It is regarded as the cause of goodness of its sales.

LG OLED TV accounted for about 30% of domestic TV sales of LG Electronics, and it is known to have completely settled in the market. LG Electronics official announced plans for the future, ” HE division plans to continue sales growth and stable profit structure focusing on premium products such as OLED TV and UltraHD TV.”

Solution Process OLED, Max. 40% Decrease in Component Material Cost Possible Compared to WRGB

According to 2017 Solution Process OLED Annual Report published by UBI Research, when solution process (ink-jet printing) is applied to large area OLED, it could reduce up to 40% of component material cost, and approximately more than 18% of production cost compared to WRGB process that uses evaporation method.

 

Solution process is a technology that can manufacture RGB pixel structure of large size OLED panel without cutting mother glass using Gen8 manufacturing equipment or larger.

 

UBI Research analyst Hyunjun Jang explained that the solution process applied OLED has a simpler panel structure with 5 layers compared to 20 layers of WRGB OLED. WRGB OLED process material usage efficiency is only at 40% but solution process application could increase this to over 90%. Jang added that the lack of color filter is a factor that could decrease panel production price by reducing development cost. Particularly, this can greatly reduce emitting materials usage which occupies much of materials cost and contribute considerably to the fall in production cost. Furthermore, he added that cost setting of soluble emitting material per gram will be an important factor in production cost decrease and emphasized that organic material usage greatly decreases when soluble emitting materials are used but must consider price increase due to solvent cost, production cost, and development cost.

 

Solution process technology continues to receive attention as a key technology that can lead popularization of large area OLED, and key AMOLED panel companies are carrying out development.

 

In terms of technology, solution process OLED has lower emitting efficiency and short lifetime as diverse solvent is added to existing evaporation materials to transform into ink leading to low purity. This has been an important issue for panel and material companies for past several years. To improve this, DuPont, Merck, Sumitomo Chemical and others have been actively developing soluble OLED emitting materials. Much like evaporation materials, blue materials showed particular difficulty in performance improvement. However, at present significant portion of technology development has been carried out and investigation shows approximately 80% of lifetime and efficacy of has been achieved compared to evaporation materials.

 

2017 Solution Process OLED Annual Report compared and analysed WRGB OLED and solution process OLED’s competitiveness in terms of process, materials, and cost. Key issues, soluble OLED emitting materials development status, key companies’ trend, and solution process OLED market are analysed from various perspectives.

<Source: WRGB OLED and solution process OLED production cost comparison, UBI Research 2017 Solution Process OLED Annual Report>

LG Electronics, Big step on popularization of OLED TV

<OLED TV of LG Electronics Source: LG Electronics>

 

LG Electronics OLED TV is speeding up its popularization with exceeding monthly sales of 10,000 units for the first time in Korea.

‘LG OLED TV’ was sold every four minutes last month. Compared to the beginning of this year, it’s double. LG Electronics expects sales increase of OLED TVs in the future and to rapidly increase market power.

The secret to increasing sales is recognition of outstanding image quality. LG OLED TV, this year, was first in the performance evaluation conducted by nonprofit consumer magazines in 11 advanced markets including the US, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium, Portugal and Australia. Unlike LCD TVs, the contrast ratio is high because it emits light without backlight. So it presents perfect black and realizes a lively screen.

Consumers consider picture quality the most when purchasing TV. According to a consumer survey conducted by LG Electronics, over 40% of the respondents cited image quality as the top priority when purchasing TVs. This percentage is the highest of all purchasing considerations.

Reasonable price is also the cause of good sales. LG Electronics has continuously developed technology for more consumer to experience OLED TV image quality so as to reduce the. 55-inch OLED TV prices have fallen to the mid-2 million won. It is no different from premium LCD TVs. In 2013 when LG Electronics first launched OLED TV, it was worth 15 million won.

‘LG OLED TV’ accounted for about 30% of LG Electronics domestic TV sales this year and settled perfectly in the market.

Son, Dae-Gi, LG Electronics Korea HE Marketing FD, emphasized “we will expand sales to allow more customers to enjoy ‘LG OLED TV’ image quality and have a solid profit structure by raising premium market power”.

Cynora, TADF will contribute to high-resolution implementation of OLED devices and panel cost reduction

At the Global Materials Tech Fair 2017 held on September 22 in COEX, CEO Ko Chang-hoon of EM Index, Cynora’s Korean partner, announced the development of the thermally activated delayed fluorescence, blue TADF, which is currently under development at Cynora.

 

<CEO Ko Chang-hoon of EM Index>

 

Generally, the blue light emitting material is insufficient in life and efficiency compared to red and green. For this reason, OLED panels for mobile devices are manufactured relatively large in blue pixel size compared to other pixels, in the OLED panel for TV, blue light emitting layers are laminated twice. The blue TADF is the material that is being developed to overcome the limitations of this blue light emitting material.

CEO Ko Chang-hoon mentioned “Applying blue TADF increases lifetime and efficiency, so it does not need to increase pixel size and it is advantageous for high resolution implementation” and emphasized “In mobile devices, it will be advantageous to reduce power consumption as well as realize high resolution and in case of TV, it will be advantageous to reduce the panel cost because only one layer of blue light emitting layer needs to be formed.”

He referred to the recent investments of € 25 million from Samsung Venture Investment and LG Display and explained that it was a proof that blue TADF is attracting a lot of attention.

It is also close to the efficiency, lifetime and color purity of the blue TADF required by major OLED panel makers and is expected to meet these requirements by the end of 2017.

 

<Cynora’s blue TADF development progress>

 

Finally, the company announced the development roadmap for the green TADF by the end of 2018 and the red TADF by the end of 2019, and concluded by emphasizing that TADF would contribute to high-resolution implementation of OLED products and panel cost reduction.

<Cynora’s TADF product development roadmap>

Fraunhofer Institute will introduce automotive flexible OLED lighting at ISAL 2017

Specialized in development and manufacturing OLED module, Fraunhofer Institute will introduce Automotive flexible OLED lighting with adjusted color at ISAL 2017 which will be held in Darmstadt, Germany from 25th to 27th September. Fraunhofer Institute had released previously OLED which the color can be adjusted by rigid substrate in 2015.

Fraunhofer Institute has continued to develop flexible OLED lighting since then. Flexible OLED lighting which will be shown at ISAL 2017 is known to be changed to yellow and blue color. It can be shown as white light by making of yellow and blue color at the same time.

Fraunhofer Institute predicts that flexible OLED lighting will be replaced for car interior lights and it could also be used on the ceiling or winding parts where lights cannot be built easily. Commercial lighting is required to have heatsink and unfortunately it can not be easily built with lack of flexibility in design. However flexible OLED lighting is very light and thin which means it is expected to be widely used for Automotives interior with its flexible design. Fraunhofer Institute also made a comment that they may produce flexible OLED substrate glass, metal and plastic film as well.

OLED lighting has been recently used for Automotives interior and it is expected to be used more in the next generation. Customized Automotive service company, Changscustom showed OLED lighting built in the car at Seoul Auto 2016. Furthermore lighting companies including LG Display and Osram supplied OLED tail light with Mercedes-Benz and BMW.

Meanwhile, according to 2017 OLED Lighting Annual Report which was recently published by UBi Research, using of Automotive OLED Lighting will be increased to $2.11 billion in 2025 from $6.4 million in 2017 with 107% of growth rate. Especially flexible OLED Lighting is expected to capture a higher market share more than 95% and flexible OLED Lighting will be widely used instead of rigid OLED lighting.

Starting to have mass production process in Gen5 OLED of LG Display from end of September, lighting market is expected to reach full growth. The growth of OLED lighting market is being watched with keen interest to compare with strong growth of OLED display market.

UBi Research, Lee Choong-Hoon, CEO, announce OLED market and forecast

Mr. Choong-Hoon Lee, the CEO of UBi Research, OLED specialist presented the market trend and prospects of the OLED industry following last year at the Japan Conference, host by Merrill Lynch Japan Securities, from 5th to 7th of September in Tokyo, Japan. The annual conference was held for Merrill Lynch Securities customers, consisting of a forum-type presentation on major industry trends in Japan and small meetings with presenters.

The fact that Mr. Lee, the CEO of UBi Research was invited to the event indicates the importance of the display market, not just in the IT industry but also in the global market industry. Among investors in recent years, display is in the spotlight at as an emerging industry and participants have shown their interest in the latest OLED technology trend as well as current and future production scale of OLED panel manufacturers.

Mr. Lee was also had an interview with Nikkei Business Publication regarding “Global OLED Market Trend and Forecast” during the conference. The main interview question is focused on “OLED industry trend and future OLED TV market development”. According to Naoki Tanaka, editor of Ronny Keikyo Newspaper, Japanese electronics industry is expecting to revive the old glory of display industry, showing its interest in the OLED industry and OLED TV.

In the interview, Mr. Lee stressed, referring to the market data in the UBi Research OLED display report, that Japanese display manufacturers who still believe perpetuation of LCD need more reliable OLED market analysis.

In addition, he said that through the exhibition trend of OLED TV at 2017 IFA held in Berlin, Germany it is worthwhile paying continuous attention to the premium OLED TV market in the future. At the end of the interview, he emphasized how important OLED production by Japanese panel manufacturers would be to Japan’s entire display and set industry.

UBi Research publishes a monthly report on a variety of topics of OLED industry, market, and technology trend, and draws more and more attention along with the recent OLED market expansion. For more information, please contact UBi Research (info@ubiresearch.com); useful sample reports and information are provided.

UBI research publishes 2017 OLED lighting report : LG Display, ready to mass-produce OLED light panel, expecting OLED lighting market to grow fast

■ LG Display starts mass production of 5G OLED panel for lighting from the end of September

■ OLED lighting panel market is projected to grow from US$ 1.9billion in 2021 to US$ 5.8billion by 2025

 

LG Display will start mass production of 5G OLED light panels from the end of September, therefore attention is focused on whether the OLED lighting market is growing rapidly. According to LG Display, monthly production capacity is 15K, and it is to be increased to 90K later.

 

According to the ‘2017 OLED Lighting Annual Report’ published by UBI Research on August 8, the global OLED lighting panel market is expected to grow to about US$ 1.9 billion by 2021. Furthermore, it is projected to have a CAGR of 85% for the period 2017-2025, and form a market of US$ 5.8 billion in 2025.

Because OLED lighting is thin, light and flexible, it does not limit the installation space and has excellent design autonomy. In addition, OLED lighting is used for automotive, exhibition, and medical as well as general indoor lighting because it can create a comfortable atmosphere with little heat and flicker.

 

However, the market for OLED lighting has been slower than that of OLED display, which is widely applied to mobile devices and TVs. Osram focuses primarily on automotive OLED lighting, and Philips sold its OLED lighting division to OLEDWorks. Also, Japanese panel makers such as Sumitomo Chemical and Konica Minolta have developed OLED lighting for industrial and medical applications. Nevertheless, it seems to take time for OLED lighting to become eventually a large market.

With LG Display’s mass production of Gen5 OLED line, the price of OLED light panel is estimated to drop below US $ 10 (100 x 100 mm). The significant price competiveness might enable OLED panels to be applied to various areas such as automobile and display lighting as well as indoor lighting. Owing to this expectation, attention is focused on whether the OLED lighting market, showing signs of slow growth, can be materialized.

UBI Research predicted that LG Display would account for about 70% of the world’s lighting OLED panel market in 2017, and will continue to lead the OLED lighting panel market with a 50% market share in 2020.

 

Meanwhile, ‘2017 OLED Lighting Annual Report’ describes trends of next-generation lighting market, promising applications, cost analysis upon the investment of LG Display and forecast of OLED lighting market. Since it analyses particularly OLED lighting market, materials market, and equipment market forecasts for OLED lighting from various perspectives, it is expected to help the related companies identify the OLED lighting market.

 

<Sales forecast for total OLED lighting panels>

 

LG DISPLAY, Will lead global TV market with OLED

LG Display invited about 200 people of Chinese set makers, distributors and related experts and had ‘OLED Partner’s Day’ to share the status of premium TV market and OLED TV business development at Renaissance Capital Hotel in Beijing, China on September 12.

 

<Source : LG Display>

 

In the expert forum on the day, key executives from distribution and set makers such as LG Electronics, Sony, Philips, Skyworth, Suning and related organizations such as electronic committee and awards association participated and agreed that OLED will lead the TV market in the future. Forum participants, Liu Tangz(刘棠枝), CEO of Skyworth, said “The Chinese TV industry is currently in a state of saturation, but OLED TV, which can offer new value, will be a breakthrough in the display industry,” and commented “OLED TV will help increase brand awareness and market share.”

 

Yeo Sang-Deog, LG Display CMO, said, “OLED TV has already become the market trend” and emphasized “We will lead the market with OLED TV, a true future display that can deliver value beyond TV.”

 

Since LG Display began mass production of OLED TV panels in 2013, it has expanded its customer base to 13 major companies in Europe, Japan and China, starting with LG Electronics. World TV set makers such as LG Electronics, Skyworth, Concha, Philips and Panasonic have set OLED TV products on the front at the IFA (International Consumer Electronics Show) 2017 in Berlin in early September.

 

OLED TV’s market competitiveness is getting higher as major set makers in the world recognized the value of OLED TV, which has various advantages such as image quality, thickness, design, viewing angle and power consumption and aggressively launch products.

 

Yeo Sang-Deog CMO emphasized the confidence in quality, he added, “In addition to securing stable yields, we will increase the output to 1.7 ~ 1.8 million units in 2017 and 2.5 million units in 2018.” and explained that they finished all the preparations that OLED TV can influence in terms of production.

 

<Source : LG Display>

 

OLED TV has been rated as one of the best products by the world’s leading professional rating agencies such as ‘Consumer Report’, a nonprofit consumer organization in the US.

 

OLED TV can be used for interior decoration that displays pictures and photos even when not watching TV, and easy to apply on various AI platforms so that there is no limit to the range of applications. LG Display expects OLED TVs with infinite scalability to change the lifestyle of consumers.

 

“OLED is a true future display that can deliver new value to the TV market,” said Yeo Sang-Deog CMO and “LG Display plans to carry out a variety of promotional activities to enable more consumers to know and experience the value of OLED.”

 

LG Display plans to build an OLED landmark in Guangzhou Tower while operating an OLED experience center in the core city of China.

 

Meanwhile, Vincent Teoh, editor-in-chief and image quality expert at HDTV Test, explained that the TV picture quality test conducted recently proved the overwhelming superiority of OLED TV in all aspects such as contrast and color accuracy, famous Chinese photographer Tungmeong (童梦) shared the experience of use from the user perspective that OLED is the best display to realize the natural color.

 

On the other side of the event hall, there prepared the experience zone that can compare structure and image quality of OLED, gallery that can be observed high-end products such as CSO and wallpapers TV and products released by customers allowing attendees to directly experience the benefits of OLED TV.

[iMiD 2017] AP Systems, Find FMM answers through USPL

At iMiD 2017 in BEXCO, Busan on 28th, AP Systems announced that it succeeded in developing 1000ppi FMM with USPL (ultra-short pulse laser).

Since FMM plays a role of depositing pixels and RGB organic materials, FMM serves as a factor that determines resolution and yield of OLED. At present, FMM is mainly manufactured by etching method. This method has a problem that a shadow phenomenon due to the precision, thickness, and weight of the fine pattern occurs, in order to solve this problem, various FMM manufacturing processes such as laser processing and electro-forming have been developed.

Among these, laser processing method has an issue of forming burrs around pin-holes due to the thermal effect caused by laser irradiation. These burrs increase the shadow interval of the FMM, which causes overlapping of patterns during RGB organic deposition, thereby degrading the resolution of the OLED.

AP Systems has developed a burr-free laser process that does not have burr phenomenon and further controls the taper angle.

The Burr-free laser process is a short-time irradiation of unidirectional pulses at a constant number of times, since the laser is not continuously irradiated, it minimizes accumulated heat energy and prevents burr formation. In addition, by controlling energy of the laser, it accumulates energy and forms taper.

In this way, AP Systems explained ‘they produced FMM with various shapes of fine pin-holes such as square, diamond, and polygonal shapes, as well as 1170ppi FMM’, and ‘’We also developed large-area FMM manufacturing equipment with USPL method’.

AP Systems also added ‘multi-beam and USPL is equipped for FMM manufacturing equipment so that it can improve productivity and realize UHD’.

Since the launch of the Galaxy Note4 in 2014, the OLED resolution has remained at the QHD level yet. In order to manufacture an OLED having a high resolution (UHD level or higher), it is necessary to solve various technical problems faced by FMM. Accordingly, it is noteworthy how USPL technology of AP Systems will affect the future OLED market.

<1000ppi FMM produced by AP Systems>

 

<various type of FMM produced by AP Systems>

[iMiD 2017] You Dream, We OLED

 

LG Display is expanding in earnest in OLED market.

In the keynote session of IMID 2017 held in Busan on 29th, LG Display’s CTO Kang In-byeong pointed out the future plan of LG Display as “OLED is a strong candidate to lead the future display industry”.

Kang In-byeong, CTO, said that by 2020, large-area OLED will increase its production capacity by 7 times to 2020, thereby reducing the cost cap with LCD and leading the market on the basis of technology such as wall paper, sound integration, rollable and transparent flexible. LG Display recently invested in Gen8.5 in China and is expected to invest in Gen10.5 OLED mass production line at Paju P10 plant.

On the other hand, for small and medium-sized OLEDs, they have announced that they will use a fast follower strategy based on plastic OLED. LG Display is in mass production of plastic OLED panel to be applied for LG Display’s next smartphone, V30, next smartphone, and is ready for the mass production in the E5 line of Gumi. In addition, they plan to invest 10trn won additionally to Gen6 line, which is expected to increase 13 times the current capacity by 2020.

Based on this aggressive OLED investment, LG Display plans to raise its portion of OLED sales up to 40% in 2020 from current 5% in large-area OLEDs and small- and medium-sized OLEDs.

Currently, large-area OLEDs continue to increase capacity and yield and LG Display is likely to expand sales in the future, as it is dominating the premium TV market as it is expanding the camps of Sony, Philips and Panasonic as well as LG Electronics. The success of mass production in small- and mid-sized OLEDs will determine whether or not LG Display plans to achieve its plan.

 

LG Electronics leading OLED TV camp to premium sensation

<LG OLED TV exhibited at IFA2016>

LG Electronics is expanding its OLED TV camp to dominate the premium market. LG Electronics decided to supply OLED TV since September to Danish prestigious audio company B & O (Bang & Olufsen), making a fruitful result of OLED TV expansion.

‘B & O’ held an OLED TV public event in Berlin on Aug 30th in local time. ‘LG OLED TV is equipped with its own sound technology and will be shown to visitors at ‘IFA 2017’ from September 1 to 6.

LG Electronics also emphasized that the OLED TV camp is on the constant rise. It is expected that there will be 13 manufacturers exhibiting OLED TV at ‘IFA 2017’. As the number of companies increased from 11 last year, it is said that these companies are planning to execute their premium marketing strategies by bringing OLED TV in front.

LG Electronics analyzed that mushrooming OLED TV sales among many companies are attributed to securing a stable profit structure. As Chinese and Taiwanese makers are investing heavily in LCD panel production, the price competition is likely to be intensified in the future and LCD technology has already reached the maturity phase, difficult to be differentiated with LCD. Taken the market environment into consideration, TV makers have been targeting a premium market with differentiated OLED TV.

LG Electronics announced that OLED TV makes the profit structure of LG Electronics stable and secure. The HE division in charge of TV business stated that it achieved 8.5% of operating profit (sales 8,561 billion KRW, operating profit 725.2 billion KRW) in the first half of this year. LG Electronics mentioned the premium OLED TV has brought the high profitability and noted that OLED TV sales accounted for 15% of sales in the first half of LG Electronics’ business operation.

The LG OLED TV currently being commercialized has swept the various awards by media and experts all over the world, and is ranking number one in the performance evaluation. The screen quality, sound quality and design have been complimented in the TV’s key elements.

Particularly, at ‘IFA 2017 in Berlin Germany, LG Electronics will aggressively approach and further strengthen the premium TV market from September 1 to 6, introducing the advanced screen quality technology of ‘LG OLED TV’. “We will enhance our leadership in the global market by bringing OLED TV presently reorganizing the premium market in front.”

2Q OLED panel shipments, continued to rise

■ Panel shipments of smartphones grew 2.6% YoY to 95.3million units

■ TV OLED panel shipments reached 370,000 units, up 165% YoY

 

According to Ubi Research, OLED panel shipments for smartphones in the second quarter of 2017 were 96.3 million units, up 2.6% from 92.9 million units in the same period last year.

Compared to the previous quarter (94.7 million units), it increased by 0.6%.

<OLED panel shipments for smartphones>

 

Samsung Display has a market share of 96.7% in the second quarter of 2017 and is the number one player in the small and medium sized OLED market. Galaxy S8 and S8 + are showing robust sales, and Samsung Display’s small to medium sized OLED market is expected to continue to remain strong for the time being with OLED adoption of Galaxy Note 8 and some models of the iPhone 8.

OLED panels are also applied to LG Electronics’ V30, which is expected to be released on the 31st, and major smartphone makers in China are also expanding their OLED panels. The OLED panel market for smartphones is expected to grow steadily, and the trend for smartphone displays is expected to gradually shift from LCD to OLED.

 

<TV OLED panel shipments>

 

On the other hand, TV OLED panel shipments are growing 370,000 units, up 165.0% from 140,000 units a year earlier. Compared to the previous quarter (306,000 units), it increased 21.2%.

The OLED TV market is expected to expand gradually this year with Sony’s participation in OLED TV camps.

LG Display’s Paju E4 new line is expected to be fully operational from 3Q and TV OLED panel production is expected to increase steadily.

LG OLED TV, Has Won the ‘EISA Awards’ 6 Years Straight

On August 15th, LG Electronics’ premium TVs including OLED TV received EISA’s most prestigious award in Europe.

 

<LG OLED TV (model: OLED65E7), Source: LG Electronics>

 

LG OLED TV (model: OLED65E7) was selected as ‘EISA OLED TV’ by the European Imaging and Sound Association (EISA). LG OLED has once again proven its advanced technology by winning the ‘EISA Award’ for six consecutive years since 2012.

The association commended “LG OLED TV has the ability to deliver perfect black for an incredible picture as well as vivid color expression and wide viewing angle”. “And black expression and brightness has improved compared to last year.” In addition, the judges were also impressed by its diverse HDR such as Dolby Vision and HDR10, ultra-slim design, rich sound of Dolby Atmos, and convenient usage.

 

<LG Sound Bar (model: : SJ9), Source: LG Electronics>

 

LG Sound Bar was recognized with the ‘EISA Sound Bar Award’. It was cited as being one of the rare products with both luxury design and sound. The judges also said it is well harmonized with surround sound and rich medium-low sound due to Dolby Atmos technology.

The ‘EISA Award’, held by EISA(European Imaging and Sound Association), is highly recognized worldwide in the field of imaging and sound. EISA is the Europe’s largest multi-media association of AV experts from 20 countries. Since 1982, it has selected the best products in the field of sound, imaging, photography and mobile devices every year. The jury, composed of reporters and external technical experts, selects the winners so it is highly credible.

“We will continue to lead the premium TV market with the products that are recognized for their advanced technology,” said Kwon Bong-suk, vice president of LG’s HE business.

Stretchable OLED commercialization is on the rise

Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics have steadily been releasing smartphones and smart watches using flexible OLED since 2013, and electronics companies in China have begun to put out one of them. In particular, Apple, the leader in the smartphone industry, is also seeing the launch of iPhone with flexible OLED, and the flexible OLED market is expected to grow further.

The shape of the flexible OLED was expected to be changed to foldable and rollable beyond the bendable. Recently, however, the display industry has surpassed this trend and has been focusing on the development of stretchable OLEDs.

 

<Development Roadmap of OLED, Source: Ubi Research>

 

A stretchable OLED is a type of a flexible OLED that is finally evolves, which means OLED having elasticity as like rubber band.

 

Samsung Display unveiled this stretchable OLED at SID 2017. Samsung Display’s stretchable OLED is 9.1 inch and implementable both convex and concave shapes. At the time, Samsung Display announced that it realized the world’s first technology to maintain the existing image quality while increasing the screen size to 12 mm in concave mode.

 

<9.1 inch stretchable OLED displayed by Samsung Display, Source: Samsung Display>

 

LG Display will also develop the stretchable OLED. LG Display announced on June 6 that it will develop backplane and photoluminescence materials, devices, and process source technologies with elasticity of more than 20% for a total of four years through a consortium with Korea University.

 

In addition, LG Display has developed flexible plastic substrate materials, flexible wiring materials and transparent electrode materials, stretchable organic light emitting materials, and flexible encapsulates, they will also acquire essential process technologies including thin film transistors (TFTs) and process architectures that enable low-temperature processing.

 

At present, stretchable related technology is not yet applied to production, or elongation is only about 5%, and the number of repeated stretching is limited. In addition, most of the source technology is in overseas, it is expected that Samsung Display and LG Display will be able to secure technological gap with latecomers.

Stretchable OLED is free of form restrictions and expected to produce applications in new areas when applied to a variety of applications such as smart phones, tablets clothes and human skin when they are commercialized.

UDC, whose total revenue increases by 59% in Q2 2017 with royalty and license fees

UDC(Universal Display Corporation) has announced the financial performance of the 2nd quarter of 2017 as of Aug 3rd.

UDC’s total revenues in the second quarter of 2017 has been recorded as US $125millon, increased by 59 percent, compared to that of the previous year, US $ 64.4 million. Material sales has been also increased by 110 percent to $ 46.8 million; the profit from royalties and license fees increased by 28 percent to $ 53.7 million; $ 26.5 million was contributed to the operation profit to make US $ 60.5 million, and net profit for this term has been increased from US $ 2,540 to US $ 47.2 million.

The UDC has seen its total revenue contributed by royalty and license fees and the material revenue by the increase in sales of blue and green phosphorescent materials.

As the OLED market grows, the OLED material market co-prospers, leading to business growth of UDC. According to 2017 OLED Emitting Materials Market Report of UBI search, the global OLED emitting materials market shows great prospects with the market size worth $ 960 million in 2017, and it is anticipated to reach the annual average growth rate 37%, enlarging the market size as $ 3.36 billion by 2021.

<Market Forecast of Emitting Materials>

LG Electronics, watching bigger and clearer on ‘OLED FullVision’

<Source: LG Electronics>

 

LG Electronics will have a strategic premium smartphone equipped with OLED in the 2nd half this year.

LG Electronics will apply OLED FullVision, an 18: 9 aspect-ratio OLED display completely filling the entire screen panel to a strategic premium smartphone in the 2nd half. The size of the display is 6inch wide- larger than 5.7 inches of the previous model LG V20, but the size of the product is rather smaller by reducing the size of the bezel.
Based on the display technology obtained from LG OLED TV, which has been recognized as the world’s best premium TV, LG Electronics plans to provide a different level of visual experience of smartphone; “With OLED technology which has been accumulated over the years, we have completed the differentiated high-class design of the subsequent strategic premium smartphone.”
In the LG Electronics’ strategic premium smartphone, the “bezel bending” technology has been embedded in, which makes the circuit and insulating layers at the bottom of the panel bent backwards and the lower bezel reduced by about 50% compared to the previous model V20. Toughened glass on the outer layer of display is curved all around edge and is smoothened along the contour line of the backside to emphasize a sense of unity on the design,

OLED FullVision has a QHD + (1,440×2,880) resolution and an optimized screen quality algorithm equipped with a color gamut of 148% based on sRGB, default color space for photography and internet, and 109% based on digital cinema color standard DCI-P3.

LG Electronics stated that OLED FullVision should present a deep and vibrant screen with excellent contrast ratio and fast response time will provide a full-fledged screen without afterimages for fast-moving video or games.

LG Electronics also said, “The durability of the display has been upgraded as well, considering the portability of smartphone. OLED Full Vision is stronger than glass substrate displays because it is based on P-OLEDs with pixels placed on plastic substrates,”; “Cutting edge technologies are embedded in such as Corning®’s latest tempered glass ‘Gorilla® Glass 5’ and shatter-resistant technology that prevents the glass powder from scattering when the glass breaks. ” LG added.

Additionally LG Electronics said, “We have applied hardware and software technology to enhance durability. Also encapsulation technology that minimizes oxidation by covering the pixels with a protective film to prevent air contact, and pixel scanning program that identifies heavily used pixels and reduces their power consumption. OLED technology has minimized the burn-in phenomenon that can occur on the display. ”

Joon-ho Cho, president of LG’s MC business director emphasized, “We will provide a high end smartphone with a different level of design and screen quality, integrating the world’s best display technologies proven by LG OLED TV.

OLED Encapsulation, TFE is the Top Trend

  • Expected application of TFE to all edge type and full screen use flexible OLED
  • PECVD manufacturing equipment, 62% of total encapsulation manufacturing equipment market

 

According to 2017 OLED Encapsulation Annual Report published by UBI Research, of OLED encapsulation technology, TFE (thin film encapsulation) will be applied to approximately 70% of total OLED panel in 2021, and become the key encapsulation technology.

OLED display trend is heading toward minimizing bezel for full screen actualization from edge type, and flexible OLED is being considered as the most optimal display for full screen. As such, Chinese panel companies, as well as Samsung Display and LG Display, are concentrating on flexible OLED mass production line investment rather than rigid.

Flexible OLED must be thin and bendable; glass using frit encapsulation Is not suitable and TFE (thin film encapsulation) or hybrid encapsulation must be applied. TFE is a structure that is formed via laminating thin inorganic and organic materials. In the early stages of development, it had 11 layers of complex organic and inorganic material deposition with low yield. However, it now has been reduced to 3 layers and greatly improved productivity, yield, and cost and it is being applied to most of flexible OLED.

 

<Thin film encapsulation development history, 2017 OLED Encapsulation Annual Report>

 

Hybrid encapsulation, which uses barrier film, is being applied to some flexible OLED. However, due to the high cost of barrier film and relatively thick thickness, recent investment is focused on TFE application.

According to UBI Research analyst Jang Hyunjun, TFE encapsulation is expected to continue to be applied to edge type and full screen type flexible OLED panel, and related manufacturing equipment and material market will carry on their growth.

The report explains that TFE’s key manufacturing equipment are inorganic material forming PECVD and organic material forming ink-jet printer. In particular, PECVD is used in inorganic material film formation of hybrid encapsulation as well as TFE. Therefore, PECVD market is estimated to record US$ 6,820 million in 2017-2021, and occupy approximately 62% of the total encapsulation manufacturing equipment market.

 

<PECVD manufacturing equipment market volume, 2017, 2017 OLED Encapsulation Annual Report>

The report includes encapsulation related key manufacturing equipment and material market in addition to encapsulation development history and trend, and key panel companies’ trend.

LG Electronics, “Sales of the Premium TV in 2017 would hold 60%”

 

LG Electronics spoke that “The portion of premium TVs in total TV sales will be increased from about 40% in 2016 to around 50% in first half of 2017 and up to 60% in the end of this year.” at the conference call in Q2 2017, which was held on 27th.

The performance in Q2 for HE area of LG Electronics showed 4 trillion and 234.9 billion won in sales, and 343 billion won in operating profit. The QOQ on sales was declined to 2.1%, and the demands of the global TV market are continuously reducing, but the sales of the same quarter in last year showed 1.9% growth through the sales expansion of the OLED premium TVs.

Jin-ho, Ha, the HE director of LG Electronics said that “The Q2 performance was slightly decreased in QOQ and same quarter in last year due to the panel cost increase and marketing promotion for the new product launching, but we sustained healthy profit structures through the expansion of the premium TV sales and the improvement of cost structures consistently.” And also expected, “There are concerns on the slowdown in growth of worldwide TV market for the interest rate hikes and the oil price decrease, nevertheless, the premium TV market will steadily grow according to the demand increase on OLED TV and UHD TV.”

Subsequently, he answered on the question of the counterstrategy for the SONY, “It is not just right time to judge the OLED TV of SONY yet, but until now, we think that the OLED TV of us is quite superior regarding the aspect of design of products, image quality, and its lineup and so on.”

On the recent investment for large-sized OLED of LG Display, “LG Display and LG Electronics, both of us, will wisely take and proceed the world best strategy together of premium TVs by strengthening the premium status of OLED TV.”

He explained on the TV business of LG Electronics, “We have been improving the profitability focusing on the premium lines, and also completely avoiding the quantitative competition. We plan to continuously sustain the quality-oriented rather than quantity.” He added, “We will pursue the activities to intensively keep the premium image of OLED.”

They stated to be maintaining the stable profit structures with aiming at continuous sales expansion of premium products through the marketing promotion for the premium TV-oriented to prepare the high-season for the TV market in second half.

Samsung Electronics’ Display Business Recorded Operating Profit of 1.71 Trillion KRW in Q2, 2017

 

Samsung Electronics announced that it reached sales of 61 trillion Korean won and operating profit of 14.07 trillion Korean won, and the display business recorded 7.71 trillion won and operating profit of 1.71 trillion won, through the Q2 2017 Earnings Conference Call on 27th. Its display business has recorded more than 1 trillion won in the black, for 4 consecutive quarters since Q3 2016.

 

According to Samsung Electronics, its earnings for Q2 2017 has increased compared to the previous quarter due to the expanded sales of flexible OLED panels and high value-added LCD products.

 

The OLED division saw its earnings improvement on the back of flexible products sales increase due to the expanded sales of major customer flagship models, and accounted for low 60% of sales. The LCD division also improved earnings by expanding the sales of high value-added products, mainly UHD and large TVs.

 

The OLED division is expected to see sales growth for the second quarter of this year due to the expanded supply of flexible products compared to the last quarter. However, there will be fiercer competition with LTPS LCD in the mid to low-end market and a risk of cost increase resulting from ramp-up of new capacity lines. Accordingly, Samsung plans to improve profitability by aggressively responding to major customer demand through stable ramp-up of new lines and improving product mix.

 

The LCD division is anticipated to be in a supply-demand imbalance due to set companies’ stock increase of panels and panel suppliers’ supply expansion, but premium TVs such as high resolution and super-size TVs are expected to continue to grow. Samsung has a plan to increase profitability by promoting yield and cost improvement activities and by expanding the sales of not only high value-added products such as UHD and large-size products but also differentiated design products such as frameless and curved products.

 

Samsung Electronics recorded sales of 93 million mobile phones and 6 million tablets in Q2 2017, and in the third quarter, the sales of mobile phones and tables are likely to increase slightly and remain flat, respectively quarter on quarter. The sales volume of LCD TVs is expected to reach 9 million units and grow at low single in the third quarter.

 

Samsung Electronics invested a total of 12.7 trillion KRW in its facilities in the second quarter, of which 4.5 trillion KRW were invested in the display. This year’s investment plan for facilities is yet to be determined, but investment is expected to increase substantially from last year, especially for semiconductors and displays. The display division plans to invest in production expansion to meet the increasing demand for flexible OLEDs.

 

Director Lee Chang-hoon of Samsung Display said, “The smartphone set makers’ OLED adoption will continue to increase with the constant strong demand for it. The current OLED line is being resiliently operated in line with market and customer needs”. He added “We will continue to use and operate OLED lines strategically in accordance with market demand and customer needs.”, and explained they are not considering the plan to further shift LCD lines into OLED.

LG Display, Expects 40% of OLED out of total sales in 2020.

 

LG Display spoke that they plan to change the sales structure by focusing on the OLED sales at the conference call in Q2, 2017 which was held on 26 July, and they expected that the OLED sales portion among the total sales would be from 10% in this year to 40% in 2020.

Sang-don, Kim, the CFO of LG Display said that they will invest about 15 trillion won of production line for the Gen10.5 OLED and the Gen6 POLED(Plastic OLED) at Paju P10 factory against 4 years. He said that “The investment of Paju P10 is a leading task for the mass production and the improvement of efficiency because the demand of OLED TV is rapidly increasing by the forecasting of 2.5 million units in 2018 and 6 million units in 2020. We will take the P10 factory as an OLED hub.”

The CFO also said that “We plan to order and install the necessary equipment from July 2017 to January 2019 for the Gen10.5 OLED line in Paju P10 factory, and through test period for 6~12 months, the 1st target will be to mass-produce the OLED of 30,000 units per month based on single unit. 5 trillion won will be invested to the P10 factory to install new lines of the Gen6 POLED with 30,000 units per month and it would be started to produce it in 2019.”

Accordingly, LG Display announced that E5 in Gumi, which was previously invested, plans to mass-produce the Gen6 POLED with monthly 15,000 units of scale in this year, E6 in Paju plans to mass-produce the Gen6 POLED with monthly 15,000 units of scale in Q2 2018. In addition, they mentioned that at the OLED new line in Guangzhou, China, will mass-produce the Gen8.5 OLED with monthly 60,000 units of scale from the first half of 2019 by the investment of the 5 trillion won. For concerns on the technology leakages about the investment of the Gen8.5 OLED in Guangzhou, the CFO, Sang-don, Kim, said “There was no cases of technology leakages in the LCD line of Guangzhou until now from last 2013 since the OLED is complicated technology to copy, and there would be much benefit by the localized equipment and all investment instead of it.”

Meanwhile, the sales of LG Display for the Q2 this year were reduced QOQ 6% (7,620 billion won) as 6,629 billion won, but, increased 13% versus same quarter of last year (5,855 billion won). The portions by the products are following: 46% for TV panels (QOQ +3%p), 22% for Mobile panels (QOQ -4%p), 17% for Monitor panels (QOQ +2%p), 15% for Laptop/Tablet panels (QOQ -1%p). LG Display explained that the performance in first half declined due to the seasonality impact, but the shipments in second half considered as high-season, will be increased versus first half.

AR and VR Market, Active Expansion in 2019 – What Propels the Growth?

  • Forecast of US$ 58,700 million of total revenue of AR and VR in 2021
  • Active expansion expected in 2019 with UHD contents mass production and fast transfer of large size content for VR through introduction of 5G

 

With recent ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) progress, fourth industrial revolution is receiving attention as the new growth engine. Along with the increased interest in augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), products such as Oculus Rift and Gear VR continue to be released.

Released AR products include glass types such as Microsoft’s HoloLens and Google’s Google Glass. HMD (Head Mounted Display) based VR type products include Oculus VR’s Oculus Rift, HTC’s Valve, and Sony’s PlayStation VR, and smartphone based VR types include Samsung Electronics’ Gear VR.

According to AR and VR Display Market Report published by UBI Research on 7th, AR and VR product shipment is expected to record 17 million units in 2017 with US$ 3,900 million revenue. UHD contents mass production and introduction of 5G for fast processing large size VR content are expected from 2019. Accordingly, total shipment of AR and VR products is estimated to increase at approximately 54% CAGR, and show 96.4 million units of shipment and US$ 58,700 million revenue.

The report divided the market by product and display for AR and VR market analysis, which is further categorized into AR and VR product total market, market by VR product, AR and VR use display total market, AR and VR use OLED, and market by other display type.

For immersive virtual reality experience without dizziness, display conditions such as latency, FOV, refresh rate, and high resolution were selected as key issues and were analyzed. AR and VR products released between 2014 and 2016 were arranged by types, categorized by display type and key companies and analyzed.

Furthermore, business status of key IT companies, including Apple and Facebook, is included handling AR and VR product release status, related patent, and related company takeover. With the information on key panel companies’ AR and VR product exhibition status, the report is expected to be conducive to understanding key trends of related companies.

UBI Research estimates AR and VR use OLED shipment to be 2.6 million units in 2017, with 2.4 million units of other displays. OLED is expected to show 52% of market share with 48% of other display. In 2021, AR and VR use OLED is expected to show shipment of 52 million units and occupy 80% of the market.

<Shipment Forecast by AR and VR use Display Type>

OLED TV is the competitive TV covering the whole areas such as the design and the sound quality as well as the image quality.

“While the existing OLED TV is focused on the image quality, the current OLED TV is not only picture quality but also covering any areas including the design and the sound quality.”

In the keynote address for the workshop of ‘the 12th Display National R&D Projects’ held on 5 July in Hoengseong, Gangwon-do, Soo-young, Yoon, a director of LG Display, introduced the advantages of OLED TV such as superior image quality, design freedom, and sound quality improvement including the capacity of the light and shade, and color implementation.

 

 

He said, “It is unlike LCD, OLED is the self-emitting, and be able to be controlled by a pixel unit, so that it is capable of expressing the perfect black, and implementing the unlimited contrast range. Therefore, OLED is the best display to express the stars or a bright moon in the darkness.” And also, he emphasized that “OLED TV is free to express the middle gradation through the precise color expressiveness, so that it is able to realize the vivid color as realistic.”

 

Subsequently, he introduced the wallpaper and CSO (crystal sound OLED) which attracted lots of attention in last CES 2017, “If the existing OLED TV is an image quality-oriented, the current OLED TV goes through any areas such as the design, sound quality but also the image quality. Especially, the embedded speaker methods are able to realize the high level of immersion, by agreeing the position of the mouth and the sound along with the effect of design advancement.”

A director, Soo-young, Yoon, also introduced the transparent flexible OLED which can implements the radius of curvature 80R, 40% penetration ratio, and 77-inch UHD, that developed for the commercialization, and mentioned that the transparent and flexible display will be a future display. He also said that they are on-going to develop the devices and materials for solution process, and it needs to be discovered the new application and new form factor.

Finally, he mentioned the P10 factory at Paju, “We expect to ultimately produce new OLED TV at P10 factory which plans to be completed by the end of this year through thorough preparation.”

 

How about the future OLED market performance?

At the seminar titled “OLED market analysis and the latest technology” host by the UBI Research at the FKI last June, the president, Lee Choong Hoon predicted the market through analyzing the OLED industry investment and mass production in the first half of 2017.

President Lee Choong Hoon emphasized that China will lead the OLED equipment market by 2021 due to increase in OLED demand of Chinese set makers. Accordingly, the Chinese equipment market is expected to account for about 48% of the entire equipment market in 2021, investing approx. US $ 40.5 billion.

It is anticipated that such movement of Chinese companies will affect the OLED smartphone market. In 2019, OLED smartphones will reverse the LCD smartphone market, accounting for 80% of the total smartphone market by 2021.

On the other hand, as for the flexible OLED, between 2017 and 2019, Samsung Electronics expects to invest heavily in BOE to be ranked second in the flexible OLED market, which should cope with the increasing demand on flexible OLED of Samsung Electronics and Apple.

 

 

President Lee analyzed that the premium TV market will be formed with larger than 65 inches as the 65-inch panels will be mass-produced at BOE’s Gen10.5 LCD plant from 2018. Consequently, panel makers without Gen10.5 will produce 65 inch panels on the Gen8 line in MMG (multi-model on a glass) method. On the other hand, LG Display is expected to continually produce TV OLED panel at Gen8, and since 2020 at Gen10.5 line.

According to ‘2017 OLED Manufacturing Equipment Annual Report’ published by the UBI research, from 2017 to 2021, it is anticipated that TFT equipment will account for 45% of the market share, followed by OLED pixel forming equipment 17%, encapsulation equipment 13%, cell equipment 13% and module equipment 12% respectively. As the demand on flexible OLEDs is expected to increase remarkably in the future, the market share of cell and module equipment will accordingly increase by 25% with high importance.

UBi Research first half year closing seminar ” OLED Market analysis and latest technology”

OLED Market

■ Review the technical issues & market in the OLED industry in the first half of 2017

■ Market outlook and change points forecast for the 2H of the year thru 1H issue analysis

 

UBI Research will hold an OLED market analysis and latest technology on June 30 (Fri) at the FKI Conference Center in Yeouido, Korea, to finalize the OLED market in the first half of 2017 and forecast the market in the second half of 2017.

 

In this seminar, we will look at the investment trends and future of major panel makers and look at OLED market trends and latest technologies such as development status of luminescent materials of TADF and Iridium phosphorescent materials, technology issues for flexible OLEDs, and surface patterning deposition technology for high resolution so that it will be a place to preview how OLED markets and technologies will change.

 

In this seminar, (Kwon Seong-Ryul, head of Dongbu Securities Industry Analysis team will be presenting on changes in OLED portion in smartphones, TVs, and signage, and polarization of major OLED panel suppliers by country, forecasts of major OLED equipment and materials markets, possibility of foldable display and technical difficulties and etc.

 

Following this, Chang Jung-Hoon, a member of Samsung Securities Tech team is responsible for Samsung’s line expansion, analyzing the current status of OLED panel makers in China, analyzing value chain of OLED equipment makers and material companies, changing supply chain driven by OLED application of Apple iPhone, demand forecast for small and medium-sized OLED panels from investor point of view.

 

Next, Lee Jun-Yeob, professor at SungKyunKwan University will mention the development process of TADF OLED, technical issues of TADF dopant, technical issues of TADF OLED, and current situation of hyperfluorescence.

 

Kim Jae-Hoon, professor at Hanyang University, will disclose the experiment result in which the luminous efficiency is improved by 60% compared to conventional OLED by applying circular dichroism technology to improve the light efficiency of OLED.

 

Lee Choong-Hoon, president of UBi Research, will explain investment prospects and investment trends of major OLED companies, overall equipment market forecast for OLED manufacturing, OLED luminous material market forecast, overall OLED market outlook, available panel shipment to the market and sales forecasts.

 

Jin Sung-Ho, professor at Pusan National University will present the experiment result showing high luminous efficiency while simplifying the OLED structure by introducing a functional substituent having electron transfer property into a red iridium phosphorescent material and developing an iridium-based phosphorescent material for OLED capable of solution process.

 

Lee Ki-Yong, professor at Hanyang University will explain display trends, technical issues of flexible OLED components, and concept design of flexible displays.

 

Lastly, Hwang Chang-Hoon, professor at Dankuk University and a representative of OLEDON, will explain the plane source patterning deposition technology that can improve the OLED resolution by about 8 times by implementing 0.38 um shadow distance (SD).

 

Convention team (Lee Seul-Ji Assistant Manager)/ Tel: 02-577-4903 /Email: sjlee@ubiresearch.com

LG Display, Awarded ‘Achievement Award’ for development of OLED TV at Japan OLED forum

LG Display announced on the 16th that it received the ‘Achievement Award’ for the first time as a foreign company in recognition of the superiority of WRGB technology that enabled the production of large OLED TV and the pioneering of the large OLED TV market at the 24th Japan OLED forum held at the NHK Science & Technology Research Laboratories in Tokyo.

 

55-inch transparent OLED, LG Display unveiled at CES 2017. Source : LG Display

 

The Japan OLED forum is an academic society where experts from Japan’s major industries and academia gather together to discuss and discuss solutions for academic, applied research, and practical applications related to OLED, such as Tokyo University, Kyushu University, Sony, JDI and JOLED.

According to the Japan OLED forum, LG Display is recognized for its technological ability to produce large-size OLED TVs and for pioneering large OLED TV market and won the award for achievement for the first time as the overseas company.

The technology that LG Display recognized for its achievements is WRGB technology that builds up R, G, B organic materials on a thin film transistor (TFT) vertically and adds white elements to make four subpixels, not the RGB methods that arrange R, G, B organic materials on a thin film transistor (TFT) horizontally..

LG Display used this technology to mass-produce OLED TV panels for the first time in the world in January 2013 while pioneering the large OLED TV market.

LG-Display emphasized “this award is significant because it acknowledged the technology of LG Display, which produces large-sized OLED panels in Japan, which is the mainstay of flat panel displays”.

Oh Chang-ho, Managing Director of LG Display’s OLED TV Development Group, said, “I am extremely honored that LG Display has been recognized for its OLED technology by industry-leading experts”, and “We will make efforts to contribute to the development of the display industry by developing differentiated OLED products in the future,” .

On the other hand, LG-Display was not only able to realize excellent image quality with 65inch UHD Wallpaper OLED panel in SID 2017 but also received the Display of the Year this year as an innovative product that presents new possibilities for display in terms of application scope and design.

UBI Research , Published the Market Report on OLED Manufacturing Equipment

■The OLED equipmentmarket is expected to reach $84.9 billion in 5 years.

■Korean and Chinese panel companies will take over 90% of investment in panel equipment.

 

According to ‘2017 OLED Manufacturing Equipment Annual Report’ published by UBI Research, the entire equipment market of OLED is expected to total$84.9 billion(about 93trillion KRW) from 2017 to 2021. In 2017, $16.4 billion(about 18 trillion KRW) will be invested in OLED equipment.

The OLED equipment for the market analysis is largely categorized by process into 5 kinds of equipment; TFT, OLED, encapsulation, cell, and module. The investment costs including distribution equipment and test equipment of each process are calculated, and touch-related equipment is excluded from the market analysis.

Hyun Jun Jang, a senior researcher of UBI Research forecasts that the two countries will lead the OLED market due to the massive investment from both Korean panel companies occupying the OLED industry and latecomers Chinese panel companies.

According to this report, China and Korea will actively invest in OLED equipment from 2017 to 2017, showinga 48% and a 42% OLED market share, respectively. In particular, the two countries are expected to make the largest investment of $32.8 billion(about 36 trillion KRW) in 2017 and 2018.

Samsung Display has been expanding small and medium OLED lines to be applied to Galaxy series and Apple, and LG Display has been investing in both small & medium and large-size OLED lines. China’s BOE and CSOT are likely to invest heavily in OLED line because especially BOE has decided to invest more than 30K in small and medium OLED lines every year since 2017.

 

<left) OLED Equipment Market Share by Process,    right) OLED Equipment Market Share by Country>

 

From 2017 to 2021, itis forecast that TFT equipment, OLED pixel patterning equipment, encapsulation equipment, cell equipment, and module equipment will have a 45%, 17%,13%,13%, and 12% market share, respectively. In near future, the demand for flexible OLED will be likely to increase so that cell and module equipment will gain more importance having a 25% market share.

OLED, the mainstream of HMD devices for VR

The ‘PlayX4’ opening ceremony, a next-generation augmented game show, was held at Kintex exhibition hall 2, Ilsan, Goyang, Gyeonggi-do on the 25th. During the event, a number of companies presented VR contents, using HMD (head mounted display) devices in application of OLED, such as Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Gear VR to improve immersion and reduce motion sickness.

Realitymagiq, a professional of VR game developer, introduced a multiplay game. In reply to a question on immersion into VR, “Device performance is essential for immersive in VR, and to reduce latency, the major culprit for sickness, OLED is more than enough,” said Kim Sung-kyun, the CEO of Realitymagiq. “However, resolution needs to be further developed and so does GPU performance.”

 

 

Motionhouse Co., Ltd. has introduced MotionGear for users to experience tilting and engine vibration during actual driving. Oculus Rift OLED-applied headset, was used; “Oculus Rift was the one that could minimize the motion sickness most”, said a participant.

 

 

Latency refers to the time length for the CPU to receive information from the tracker and output, which is related to the response time of the display and the information processing of the graphics card. The response time of the display required in VR is known to be less than 3ms. Samsung Display compares the response time between OLED and LCD on the blog and emphasizes that OLED is the optimal display for VR HMD device.

 

The Response time between OLED and LCD, Source: blog.samsungdisplay.com

 

In fact, many VR content companies used OLED-applied HMD devices such as Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Gear VR, and users seemed to enjoy VR game, not suffering from dizziness

Recently, aside from Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, many HMD makers such as recently launched Sony’s PS VR and Royole’s Royole Moon are OLED-based, not LCD, and surely the OLED application is expected to expand further.

2017 Q1 AMOLED Performance Analysis

According to UBI Research, sales of AMOLED in the first quarter of 2017 were US$ 4.31 billion, up 15% from the same quarter last year (Q1 2016). Shipments amounted to 99.1 million units, up 9% from the same period last year.

AMOLED accounted for 88% of smartphone sales and 7% of TV sales. Especially, TV sales market share grew by 5% YoY and it shows big growth of OLED TV market.

With Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy S8 and S8+ launches and mass production of AMOLED panels for Apple, and joining OLED TV market of Japanese companies such as Sony, Toshiba and Panasonic, the AMOLED market will continue to grow even after Q2. Mobile AMOLEDs are expected to ship more than 100 million units each quarter, and TV AMOLEDs are expected to ship more than 300,000 units per quarter.

UBI Research estimates that the total AMOLED market will grow to a CAGR of 33% by 2020, reaching US$ 59.3 billion.

 

<Total AMOLED market sales forecast>

[SID 2017] Premium TV market, LCD vs OLED war re-ignition

In the premium TV market in 2017 OLEDs seemed to catch up early with LG Electronics’ OLED TV sales volume growth and Sony’s OLED TV market gains. However, with the announcement of AUO, Taiwan’s leading LCD maker, that LCDs are more advantageous in the premium TV market than OLEDs, once again, competition between OLED TVs and LCD TVs is expected to intensify.

In the keynote session of SID 2017 held in Los Angeles, USA from May 22, AUO CEO Paul Peng made a presentation with the theme of “The warring states of display technologies” that LCDs would continue to outperform OLEDs in the premium TV market.

Paul Peng has three major claims that LCD is more dominant.

First is the performance that LCD is superior to OLED in terms of maximum size, peak brightness, ambient contrast ratio, color gamut, image sticking, and lifetime.

Second is the cost. In the black Friday in 2016, 65-inch HDR 4K narrow bezel LCD TV was US $ 1,099, while OLED was more than double with US $ 2,800.

Lastly, eco friendly. The industrial water used in the manufacturing process is used more for OLED manufacturing than LCD, and the power consumption of OLED is about twice that of LCD. The replacement cycle is 2 to 4 years for OLED, but LCD is 5 to 8 years which is more than twice as high as LCD, so is more environmentally friendly than OLED.

Since the launch of OLED TVs, there has been intense competition between LCD and OLED camps, but OLED market share continues to rise in the premium mobile market, and even in the premium TV market OLED seemed to be ahead of LCD. However, with AUO’s announcement in the keynote of SID 2017, the world’s largest display society, it is expected to intensify the fierce battle between OLED and LCD in the display industry.

  

 

Chinese panel makers BOE and Tianma started small and medium sized AMOLED production, acceleratedly chasing Samsung.

BOE

It is the first time for China to produce Gen6 flexible AMOLED; it is expected that BOE’s mass production not significantly affected by yield due to the tremendous support from the Chinese government will cause such impact on the small and medium-sized AMOLED market where Samsung has monopolized so far.

B7 line, which was built in May 2015 with the investment of approx. 465 yuan, is expectedly used in high-end mobile display in China, with 48K- large monthly capacity based on Gen6. In Dec last year, 45K investment was confirmed in Mianyang’s Gen6 flexible AMOLED production line B11 and mass production is expected to operate in 2019.

 

<5.5 inch FHDfoldable AMOLED launched at CIDC 2016>

 

In addition, Tianma successfully lighted up the rigid AMOLED panel manufactured in Gen6 LTPS AMOLED production line in Wuhan for the first time in China on April 20th. Tianma has first built the Gen 4.5 AMOLED pilot line in China as well as Gen 5.5 AMOLED production line in Shanghai for mass producing small-medium AMOLED display.

Also CSOT aims to mass-produce in the fourth quarter of 2018 as the investment in Gen6 rigid and flexible AMOLED production lines at Wuhan’s T4 plant has been proceeding. Visionox plans to additionally expand Kunshan’s Gen5.5 line (V1, presently 4K) phase1 11K and Phase2 15K investment is being proceeded. ROYOLE also invested in the Gen 5.5 flexible AMOLED mass production line, and LOI of the SFA deposition equipment was announced last January. The expected capacity is 15K.

In the Korea-dominated AMOLED market, Chinese panel makers are taking up the market share rapidly through the Chinese government support and their huge domestic market. Lee Choong-hoon (chief analyst) at UBI Research specialized in AMOLED market predicts that by 2021, Chinese AMOLED panel makers will record their second largest shipment volume with approx. 16% of the entire market share via full-fledged shipment from 2018, followed by Korea by 2021 “.

 

<forecast of AMOLED panel shipment by country>

OLED of Samsung•LG Display, Selected as the Display of the year

Samsung Display and LG Display announced on the 18th that their technology were recognized as OLED respectively in the Society for Information Display (SID), the world’s largest Display society.

 

According to the two companies, in SID awards, Samsung Display’s quad-edge flexible OLED is selected for ‘DIA, Display Industry Awards’ and LG Display’s 65inch UHD Wallpaper OLED TV panel is selected for ‘Display of the Year’

 

SID awards the prize to promising innovative display products, components, and applications that unveil the future of the global display industry among the products launched last year.

 

<Samsung Display’s quad-edge flexible OLED, source: Samsung Display>

 

According to SID, Samsung Display’s quad-edge flexible OLED in Galaxy S7 Edge was the first in the industry to display the top, bottom, left, and right sides of the display in a curved shape, and won the Display Industry Awards for its outstanding technology.

 

This product uses a BM (black matrix) area minimization design technology to further reduce the bezel by 0.2mm, the upper and lower end portions (curvature radius 25R) were finely changed to realize a gentle curved shape. In addition, for the aesthetics and comfortable grip, the left and right edge portions of the panel were subjected to four different curvatures (curvature radius 35R → 9.4R → 5.4R → 3.8R).

For this award, Jeon, Seok-jin, marketing director of Samsung Display mentioned “Samsung Display has introduced differentiated products in the market through the state-of-the-art flexible OLED technology,” and said “We are pleased to continue to lead the display market with quad-edge flexible OLEDs.”

 

<LG Display’s 65inch UHD Wallpaper OLED panel, source: LG Display>

 

On the other hand, LG Display’s 65-inch UHD Wallpaper OLED panel, which was selected as the display of the year, was evaluated as an innovative product that not only realizes excellent image quality by adopting OLED technology but also presents new potential of display in terms of application range and design.

 

The OLED TV with this panel has already won numerous awards from the world’s leading media such as ENGAGET and SINET as well as CES 2017, On the 16th, it received 89 points (TV evaluation part) which is the highest point from the consumer report, American consumer media.

 

OLED panel applied to 65inch UHD Wallpaper OLED TV is less than 1mm thick and when it is made in TV set, thickness is less than 3.55mm and weighs only 7.4kg so that it can be brought into close contact with the wall like a frame. In addition, maximizing the design effect increases the immersion feeling when watching TV.

 

Yoon, Soo-Young, managing director of LG Display Research mentioned “LG Display has been innovating differentiated products, technologies and core competencies and providing new value to customers and consumers,” and said “As a company representing the global display industry, we will continue to do our best to lead the next generation of technology.”

2017, Will be the Year of OLED TV?

On 16th, Consumer Reports, an American consumer magazine rated LG Signature TV W 89 scores in the TV quality category. It was an all-time high, overtaking LG OLED TV(OLED65C7P) that ranked number 1 with 88 scores in the ‘4K TV(Best 4K TVs to Buy Right Now)’ category in April.

 
LG Signature TV W features not only the thinnest display(4mm including a wall-mounted TV stand) by applying OLED panel and specially-designed finishing materials, but also the greatest immersion by eliminating unnecessary factors. Due to that reason, LG Signature TV W won ‘Best of the Best’ and ‘Best TV Product’ awards at CES 2017 and was once acclaimed as ‘a beautiful TV like a work of art’ from Engadget.

 

<LG Signature TV W, Source : mybroadband>

 

Meanwhile, LG Ultra OLED TV and Sony OLED TV came in second. Among the 11 TV models from top 1 to 10 selected from Consumer Reports, 10 out of 11 were OLED panel-based TVs, whereas a LCD-based TV was only Sony’s BRAVIA.

 
OLED TV is receiving lots of attention of consumers due to its great picture. In last March, Director Yoon Soo-young of LG Display said at the 3rd OLED Korea Conference hosted by UBI Research that “OLED TV on display has been moved from the corner to the center of the Best Buy LG store”, and OLED TV is becoming the mainstream of the premium TV market. Accordingly, many second movers are joining the trend of OLED TV and have released OLED TVs or announced a plan to release.

 
Toshiba launched 55 and 65-inch OLED TV Regza last march, and German luxury AV brand Loewe lunched its new flagship Bild 9 series, 55 and 65-inch 4K OLED TV on May 1, beginning to release OLED TVs in the premium TV market in earnest.

 
In addition, Sony, which attracted big attention for its OLED TV unveiled for the first time at CES 2017, officially announced on May 8th that they will firstly sell 55 and 65-inch sizes of 4K BRAVIA OLED TV A1E series. Panasonic also announced on May 14th that they will firstly sell EZ900, 950, and 1000 among 4K OLED TV in Japan from June.

 

<Sony’s 4K BRAVIA OLED TV A1E,  Source : Sony blog>

 

Meanwhile, Choong Hoon Yi, president of UBI Research(senior analyst) analyzed at the Topic seminar in April that Sony’s OLED TV is expected to sell about 400,000 in 2017. Accordingly, he expected Sony’s OLED TV will have about 27% market share in the OLED TV market and about 38% in 2021.

Sony’s OLED TV, its full-fledged sales operation to start from June 10th

Sony announced on the 8th May that two models (55” and 65”) of the 4K BRAVIA OLED TV A1E series shown last Jan at CES 2017 will be launched in Japan as from June 10. Sony’s BRAVIA OLED TV is equipped with LG Display’s WRGB OLED, 4K high-definition processor X1 Extreme and acoustic surface technology which directly generates sound with the screen vibrating. A ball park price for 55-inch is 500,000 yen and for 65-inch, 800,000 yen. Sony is also planning to release 77-inch wide TV which will be expectedly launched this autumn.

The CEO of Ichiro Takagi Sony Visual products talked about the OLED TV strategies, saying ” OLED panels as well as premium models using the X1 Extreme will offer the best screen quality, sound and immersive experience”.

The Sony’s OLED TV launch is expected to bring great impact on the premium TV market currently predominated by Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics. LG Electronics, expected to compete directly with Sony, is planning to introduce new OLED TVs at a lower price than last year; the focal point is how Sony’s OLED TV will affect the commercialization of OLED TV and display industry.

In line with it, Mr. Lee, Choong Hoon, the CEO of UBI research has foreseen at the Topic seminar last April held in the conference center of Yeouido JeonKyungYeon Hall on 21st April 2017 that Sony’s OLED TV will account for about 27% of the total OLED TV market with approx. 400,000 sets to be sold in 2017, and 38% of the total OLED TV market with 3.4 million sets in 2021.

 

<OLED TV market prospect>

Competitiveness of AMOLED emitting materials companies

UBI Research analyzed the competitiveness of major 9 emitting materials companies based on their sales figures of 2016, the number of applied or registered patents in Korea, the number of the materials being supplied to the products of display companies, and 2017 forecast revenue. (Source: 2017 AMOLED Emitting Material Market Report, UBI Research)

 

<Graph of the Analysis on the Competitiveness of Major Emitting Material Companies>

 

The result showed that the highest competitive company was Doosan. The reason for this is that it has the greatest sales performance and the highest number of manufactured products, and its patent activity is second largest after LG Chemical. Doosan has straightly increased 7 steps, in comparison with the order analyzed last year.

The second highest competitive company is Samsung SDI, followed by UDC. By adopting flexible AMOLED for Galaxy S8 red phosphorescence host, Duksan Neolux has increased 3 steps from the last year to rank number 4.

Consumer reports, being dissent from an evaluation of premium TV launched in this year

Consumer reports picked OLED TV of LG Electronics as the best 4K TV to buy right now, while gave QLED TV of Samsung Electronics 10th place.

 

<THE BEST 4K TV LG OLED65C7P selected by Consumer Reports, Source: Consumer reports>

 

Consumer Reports which is a consumer magazine in US, selected OLED TV OLED65C7P of LG Electronics launched in this year as the ‘Best 4K TVs to Buy Right Now’ on 16th, since ‘OLED TV is the best for expressing black, so it can provide entirely different image quality’.

Consumer Reports evaluated that OLED65C7P has high resolution, excellent image quality and outstanding sound performance. It has the best HDR performance among the products tested this year and it will be hard to find a better TV than it.” Consumer Reports gave 88 points, the highest score ever. This is higher score than 86 points that OLED65G6P of LG Electronics received in November.

 

In addition, OLED65G6P of OLED TV model in 2016 of LG’s got 86 points and OLED65E6P was followed as 85 points. OLED55E6P and OLED55B6P jointly received 83 points.

<Samsung Electronics’ QN65Q8C, Source: Consumer Reports>

QLED TV QN65Q8C of Samsung Electronics launched in this year gained 79 points. Consumer Reports explained that it is excellent in resolution, image quality, and sound quality, however there was black mark for the high price in spite of backlighting existence, limit of expression for black due to backlighting and cloud phenomenon. And Consumer Reports quoted the words of industry source that it would take more than three years for launching of true self-emitting QLED TV.

In the ‘Solution process OLED annual report’, UBi research expected that QLED deposition materials have issues on a short life-span compared to phosphorescence OLED deposition materials that are currently being commercialized, efficiency problem, development of eco-friendly devices, lack of infrastructure compared to OLED. In case of not establishing infrastructure and aggressive investment such as manpower recruitment and expansion of the development investment, the time of commercialization will be far from here.

LG Electronics concentrates on ‘product competitiveness not price competitiveness’ in the premium TV market

 

LG Electronics reported that they plan to focus on product competitiveness rather than price competitiveness in the premium TV market in future through the conference call in Q1 of 2017 which was held on 27th, April. During the Q&A session on ‘the sales strategy of OLED and premium TV’, Jin-ho, Ha, the director of HE (Home Entertainment) said that “we will continue to expand OLED position in the premium TV market and also in future what the competitiveness we need in the premium TV market is product competitiveness rather than price’s.”

The performance in Q1 of HE in LG Electronics was 4 trillion 3261 billion won of sales volume and 3822 billion won of sales profit. It has been reduced 4600 billion won versus previous quarter under the influence of off-season. Nonetheless, YOY (Year on Year) has been kept at the same level. The sales volume was grown up in the area of North America, South Korea and Latin America for the reason of sales expansion of premium TV, though the market in Asia was decreased versus QoQ for the lack of sufficient demand.

Jin-ho, Ha, the director of HE in LG Electronics said that “We improved the profitability versus previous quarter by expansion of premium product sales, improvement of cost structure and flexible management for the panel price rise.” He also expected that the stagnant demand in whole TV market would be continued, but the demand would be increased in the area of North America, Latin America and Asia where are holding relatively high sales ratio.” In addition, “We would maintain sound profit structure and strengthen premium position by diverse global launching of products which leads the market such as ‘LG Signature OLED TV W’.”

He answered the questioning of in future panel price expectation and OLED TV line-up idea, “The panel has been significantly rising from in Q4 of 2016, and it has reached up over 60% versus June where is the lowest point last year”, and “We will design completive line-up composed of ‘premium, best, middle and low’ to aim the premium market within OLED TV group.”

For the question of the strategy in TV market in future, “In present which panel cost is increasing, we would operate the strategy based on the profitability by avoiding a simple volume competition, and we think that the market share in low price TV market is not meaningful. So that we plan to go forward the improvement of quality as a response based on the premium TV market having over 2000~2500 dollars.”

The strategy in TV market of LG Electronics announced at the conference call in Q1 2017 is consistent development of premium TV lineup which brings better profitability with high value-added product. They also expressed that will firmly build their position in the premium TV market with product competitiveness by image quality and technology rather than price competitiveness related to panel price.

Samsung Electronics, OLED catches 60% of whole display sales

 

Myeong-jin, Lee, the executive director of IR in Samsung Electronics announced that “sales volume in Q1 was recorded as 50.5 trillion won.” in the conference call of Q1, 2017 which was held on 27th, April. And “Samsung Electronics recorded 7 trillion 2900 billion won at the display area among total sales volume in the first quarter and the sales profit was 1 trillion 3000 billion won. OLED volume occupied over 60% in the total display sales volume in Q1 of Samsung Electronics.”

Chang-hoon, Lee, the director of Samsung Display expected that “The employment of OLED panel from set manufacturers in Q2 would be consistently increasing and Samsung Electronics will maintain stable performance with response for external customers and supply flexible products to core customers.” As an expectation of OLED market in 2017, it forecasts sales growth compared to previous year by expansion of flexible product supply, however there are risks due to intensifying competition of LTPS-LCD within middle-low price market.”

Yoon, Lee, the director of image-strategy marketing team, expected that “the performance in Q1 of TV market has been decreased versus previous quarter due to off-season after peak at the end of the year, and it would show degrowth compared to previous year’s same quarter for the influence of reduced demand in the area of Europe and Latin America.” Furthermore, “It expected the performance in Q2 in TV market would slightly grow versus previous quarter as accelerating the launching of new product by company, but it will show degrowth compared to previous year’s same quarter for the effect of reduced consumption in Europe.” He also expressed that they intend to concentrate on profitability by expansion of high value-added product lineup with curved and extra-large TV along with complete sales of quantum dot QLED TV products.

During the following Q&A session, at the response of inquiry of whole OLED production line in future, “LCD 7-1 line is under switching to OLED production line from the end of 2016 and OLED A3 line is in line with plan. The investment of OLED will be progressed according to customer’s needs in the future market.”

The answer for responding question of the OLED TV, “QLED TV overcomes shortcomings of OLED TV, and it is a perfectly different product for design, image quality, and life-style of consumers with the world’s first and metal-added quantum dot material. We ended the disputes over image quality by implementing 100% color volume which maintains own color without any influence by brightness.”

For a question of delay for part supply of Galaxy S8 and S8+, “We are trying to prevent problems for the initial supply through pre-contract with involved companies and it is smoothly progressing without any difficulties. Other parts will be also supplied without any troubles through dualized operation.”

At the last question for the OLED TV development of Samsung Electronics, “We are developing a diverse technology to apply for the TV as well as OLED and now, we are concentrating upon technology development for the next generation including Quantum dot. We will strengthen the market control at the field of differentiating products, extra-large and high value-added products through a diverse new technology as well as OLED TV and catch the securement of profitability.”

LG Display, 70% of facility investment focused on large-sized OLED and POLED in this year

 

LG Display announced that it will concentrate 70% of CAPEX(investment cost for future profits) on large-sized OLED and POLED, and among them, the proportion of POLED will be higher than that of large OLED through the 2017 Q1 conference call held on April 26.

Kim, Sang Don, CFO of LG Display said “The specific size and timing of the investment is under review, but investing more than 70% of the investment in OLED remains unchanged.” Also revealed LG Display’s future investment direction by adding “Since OLED investment costs are high, we will deeply examine the confidence of our customers and the certainty of market demand, and will invest in a conservative position.”

LG Display said it will continue to secure LTPS-LCD competitiveness. Kim, Sang Don, CFO said ”We plan to switch the Gumi E5 line to POLED instead of LTPS-LCD in the second half of this year, but we think there still is demand for LTPS-LCD and opportunity for high-resolution smartphone manufacturing.”

For the LG Display’s plan for OLED Lighting business and OLED panel shipment, mentioned “OLED lighting will be produced about 15,000 sheets in the second half of 2017, and POLED will be mass-produced in Gumi E5 at the end of 2Q 2017.

For a plan for OLED TV production expansion, said “The reaction for OLED wall paper TV and Crystal Sound OLED released at CES 2017 in January this year, is better than expected in the TV market.” and mentioned “We expect OLED TV shipments to reach 300,000 units in 1Q and 500,000 units level in each quarter of the second half of this year.”

The forecast for ultra-large TV market in 2017, it is forecasted “LG OLED TV occupies an overwhelming share in ultra-large OLED TVs of 60 inches and above, and the ultra-large TV market is expected to grow continuously and record more than 30% of growth rate in the future.”

For the LG Display’s counterplan forward for the Chinese panel makers’ LCD technology, mentioned “Until 2020, it is concerned that the Chinese LCD panel makers are expected to improve their LCD technology and invest in Gen 10, however, LG Display’s IPS technology, consistent quality of mass production and stable supply chain are enough to overcome.”

Meanwhile, said that the sale proportion by product based on LG Display’s sales amount in Q1 this year were 43% for TV panels, 26% for mobile panels, 16% for notebooks and tablets, and 15% for monitors. Also, quarterly operating profit reached a record profit of 1.269 trillion won through continuous overall price increase trend of panel and the mix operation of profit-oriented products of high-resolution, high-end IT products and etc.

Tianma Unveiled the China’s First Panel Produced in a Gen6 LTPS AMOLED Production Line

On April 20, 2017, Tianma successfully turned on the China’s first panel produced in a Gen6 LTPS AMOLED production line in Wuhan, China. The investment in Tianma’s Gen6 was made starting from January 2016.

<AMOLED Panel produced in Tianma’s Gen6 LTPS AMOLED production line, Source: mp.weixin.qq.com>

Tianma built a Gen4.5 AMOLED pilot line for the first time in China, and is planning to produce small-medium sized AMOLED displays. Based on this, it unveiled a 5.5-inch HD on-cell rigid AMOLED panel for smartphone, a 5.5-inch FHD AMOLED rigid panel, a 5-inch FHD AMOLED panel, and a 5.46-inch flexible AMOLED at MWC 2016.
Tianma’s Gen6 LTPS AMOLED constructed this time will produce LTPS AMOLED for rigid OLED and flexible OLED to apply it to VR, AR-related devices, wearable devices, and foldable devices. Tianma expects to become a leading company in the AMOLED display field, thanks to this newly built Gen6 LTPS AMOLED production line.

<Tianma’s Gen6 LTPS AMOLED Production Line, Source: mp.weixin.qq.com>

Meanwhile, according to ‘2017 OLED Display Annual Report – Samsung Display’s Share in the Smartphone AMOLED Panel Market Will Reach 70% by 2020’ published in February 2017 by UBI Research, Tianma ordered 30K equipment for a Gen6 flexible AMOLED panel production line in Wuhan and will produce in the second quarter of 2018.

Is Samsung Display Moving To the Gen 7 for A4 Line?

Samsung Display

Samsung Display’s ongoing extension of flexible OLED line is highly expected to move to the gen 7 production line.

An OLED specialized research company, UBI Research CEO Choong Hoon Yi(senior analysis) analyzed the names of Samsung Display’s plants have changed by generation so A4 line will be able to increase to the gen 7.

The OLED plants owned by Samsung Display consist of A1, A2, and A3. A1 line is the gen 4 plant, A2 is the gen 5.5, and A3 is the gen 6 plant. LCD’s 7-1 line that is being recently converted is reportedly named A3E which is the follow-up of A3.

Therefore, the CEO Choong Hoon Yi forecast A4 will become the gen 7 line, in light of this trend.

To this end, he looks squarely at some issues to overcome. Firstly, it needs to secure excimer laser, the prerequisite for LTPS-TFT and doping apparatus because production equipment still remains the gen 6. But, Yi thought there is no problem in securing equipment and developing process up to the gen 7, as Samsung Display has been operating the gen 8 LTPS-TFT to produce 55-inch OLED panels for TV.

In addition, he analyzed it would be also possible to manufacture the FMM of the gen 7 half, required for the OLED deposition process. Samsung Display’s sole supplier of FMM, DNP made an investment in manufacturing facilities last year. Although the details of investment haven’t been well-known, it already has a stepper that can manufacture a mask of gen 7 half.

Lastly, when it comes to the validity of investment in Samsung Display’s gen 7, a differentiated production strategy is a key issue, according to Yi. Recently, companies that got into the business late are investing in the gen 6 OLED line, and in a few years their equipment productivity will be as good as Samsung Display’s. In his point of view, it is very meaningful to invest in the gen 7 line in order to stand out from new comers once again.

Samsung Display is already building various portfolios such as foldable OLED, COP(chip on plastic)OLED, and OLED with 800ppi high-resolution even at the R&D stage. The addition of the gen 7 production strategy to its R&D strategy incomparable with late comers will further raise its competitiveness.

 

Capture the Rapidly Emerging OLED Parts & Materials Market

With the joining of Apple in the growing OLED market this year which is manufactured by Samsung Display and applied in Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy, the OLED parts & materials market is increasingly developing.

 

An OLED specialized research company, UBI Research CEO Choong Hoon Yi(senior analysis) said the various parts & materials market needed for manufacturing smartphone OLED is expected to reach US$ 8.7billion this year and more than quadruple to US$ 38billion in 2021.

<M2017 Mobile Phone OLED Parts & Materials Report, UBI Research>

The biggest reason for the rapid growth in the smartphone OLED parts & materials market is attributed to the stable success of Samsung’s Galaxy, the Apple’s effect, the Chinese set companies’ demand boom. Just like reflecting this trend, leading display companies such as LG Display, BOE, CSOT, and Visionox following Samsung Display are struggling to introduce the 6th generation flexible OLED manufacturing line. This trend will lead LCD to disappear almost in the smartphone market by 2021.

<2017 Mobile Phone OLED Parts & Materials Report, UBI Research>

 

As the OLED parts & materials market for smartphone is classified by country, the Korean market predominates. The Korean OLED parts & materials market accounts for 95% of the total market and is likely to keep 72% in 2021.

 

As the OLED industry is led by Samsung Display, the Korean parts & materials market is also expected to rapidly grow. UBI Research CEO Choong Hoon Yi forecasted the ecosystem made by Samsung Display is held by the majority of Korean SMEs or the foreign companies with a factory in Korea, OLED growth will be directly related to the development of Korean SMEs.

 

 

Ink-jet printing OLED, Next-generation large-area display

Ink-jet printing OLED is attracting public attention once again as a next-generation large-area display.

At the keynote session of Finetech Japan 2017 held at Tokyo Big Sight as from May 5, CSOT in China prospected that next-generation large-area display would be ink-jet printing. York Zhao, the CTO of CSOT said that when the price of a new product is 1.2 to 1.3 times that of an existing product, it is the right time for the existing product to be replaced with new one. This principle has been applied when the CRT and PDP market was replaced by LCD. He added, “The price of large-area OLEDs should drop 1.2 to 1.3 times lower than LCDs to lead to a full-fledged OLED era, and ink-jet printing technology is the best way to assist the drop in price of OLED.”

<CSOT, York Zhao CTO>

In 2016, CSOT established the printing display alliance called “Guangdong Juhua printing display technology” together with Tianma, and has been participated by kateeva, DuPont, ULVAC, Merck and Jusung Engeering.

Following the announcement of CSOT, JOLED introduced various OLED panels in direct application of ink-jet printing. One of the most interesting devices was the ink-jet printing 21.6 inch 4K (3840 x 2160, 204 ppi) AMOLED panel produced in Gen 4.5 line. Yoneharu Takubo, the CTO of JDI said, “Since the establishment of JOLED, we have been improving ppi, and developed a technology to stably produce up to 204 ppi resolution. We are targeting 350 ppi and expand its product range from small and medium to large area to secure a variety of applications with ink-jet printing AMOLED. ”

<JOLED, Yoneharu Takubo CTO>

Ink-jet printing process is a technology under continuous development of major panel makers as AMOLED panel of RGB structure can be manufactured without dividing the ledger in the mass production line higher than Gen8. Also, material utilization efficiency is theoretically close to 100% to save the OLED unit cost. However, some issues arise that mass production has yet to be fully verified, and the efficiency and life span of soluble light emitting materials are inferior to those of deposition materials; hence, there has been undergoing active development in the manufacturers of light emitting materials, equipment and panels.

Ink-jet printing OLED becomes the center of public attention as a next-generation display technology, and when it will be commercialized is a matter of a question.

[Finetech Japan 2017] LG Display OLED, more than 50% of the total revenue in 2020

At the keynote session of Finetech Japan 2017 held in Tokyo Big Sight as from May 5, LG Display’s CTO, Kang, In Byeong said, “LG Display OLED accounted for 10% of the total sales revenue in 2016, but is expected to increase more than 50% in 2020.”

<LG Display, Kang In Byeong CTO>

Currently, large OLED accounts for the majority of LG Display OLED sales. OLED TVs in application of LG Display’s large OLED are positioning as in the premium TV market leader, with approx 80% market share of the 65-inch large TVs priced higher than$ 3,000, and nearly 100% of the 55 inch large TVs higher than $ 2,000.

He said, “While 10 years taken for LCD to achieve more than 80% of market share, two years for large OLED, whose price is falling much faster than LCD. On top of it, OLED attempts to generate a premium markets with high-value-added products such as wall paper, crystal sound OLED, roll-able, transparency and signage. Also OLED for mobile device has been equipped with high competitiveness in application of a flexible design, and market demand has been significantly increased. Consequently LG Display is undergoing active development and investment.” He emphasized that the ongoing challenges will bring the LG Display’s OLED sales result in 2020 up to more than 50% of the total.

LG Display is investing in both the Gen8 large OLED mass production line and the Gen6 plastic OLED mass production line to meet the growing demand for large OLED and plastic OLED (flexible OLED). Regarding future mass production capacity, CTO, Kang said, “In 2020, large OLED production line capacity will be 6 times as big as that of 2016, and for plastic OLED 14 times.”

CTO Kang lastly addressed that the future OLED strategy of LG display is to produce large OLED wider than 77 inches, implement 8K and develop application for high-value-added product market. As for mobile device OLED, UHD resolution, DHK power consumption improvement and distinctive design are the key elements as well as flexibility that can increase the OLED performance and investment efficiency to differentiate from LCD and domineer the next generation display market.

Through the Finetech Japan 2017 keynote, LG Display once again emphasized that OLED is the key instrument to lead the display market in the future. Based on the large OLED technology, LG Display will continue to lead the display market by expanding its scope to mobile device OLED.

 

The OLED Component and Material Market for Mobile Phones Is Expanding Rapidly

The component and material necessary for manufacturing OLED include not only board but also TFT, OLED, encapsulation, touch screen, cover window, and drive IC.

With the joining of Apple and Chinese companies into the OLED mobile phones market which has been led by Samsung’s Smartphone Galaxy, Samsung Display and Chinese Display companies are increasing their investment in Gen 6.

Accordingly, component and material market needed for manufacturing OLED is also rapidly expanding.

.

According to the UBI Research report, the OLED component and material market for mobile phones is expected to grow to US$ 38.2 billion in 2021 as against US$ 8.72 billion in 2017.

In terms of nation, the Korean OLED component and material market holds 94.9% market share(US$ 8.27 billion) in 2017, but the Chinese one is forecast to increase up to 22.3% in 2021, whereas the Korean one will decrease to 72.2%.

 

Samsung Display maintains 70%, share of market of AMOLED panel for smartphones by 2020

According to the “2017 OLED Display Annual Report” published by Ubi Research, it looks ahead to build about US$ 57,000 million market in 2020 of AMOLED panel for smartphones, and among this, it is expected to take about 72% by Samsung Display.

The market of AMOLED panel for smartphones in 2017 would be highly increased on the strength of the growth of shipments on smartphones by Chinese set manufacturers and Apple’s iPhone launch which applied flexible AMOLED panel.

Samsung Display, thus, has invested the mass production line in large-scale for flexible AMOLED panel starting in 2016, and its investment will be extended for catching up with its growing demands in this year rather than last year. Just the same, the panel manufacturers in China and Japan, including LG Display, are also investing and aggressively reviewing the mass production line, therefore, this market will be heavily developed.

“2017 OLED Display Annual Report” says that based on this investment, the market of AMOLED panel for smartphones which was just 374.4M in 2016, is anticipated to increase by 38.8% to 519.7M in 2017 and, it will be make the number of market by 1,442 with growing by 39.8% at an annual average by 2020.

In Samsung Display, particularly, would take the market share over 70% even after 2018 when the following company behind begins to roughly start the mass productions, since Samsung Display will endeavor to steadily keep its gaps based on the technology’s ability of high-quality images and flexible AMOLED panel, and the aggressive investments.

In “2017 OLED Display Annual Report”, meanwhile, depicts to help catching the greater flow of OLED industry on the supply chains, the latest trends by major panel company and investment state, the application trends applying AMOLED and the capability analysis of OLED mass production lines which are expected to invest in this year. It would be also expected to help field companies understand the market by analyzing the market prospect by 2021 in diverse perspective and AMOLED panel market performance from 2011.

<The Market Share Perspective of AMOLED Panel for Smartphones>

Samsung Display is Expected to Ship More than 100 Million Smart Phone AMOLED Panels Quarterly

Samsung Display’s Smart phone AMOLED panels are expected to surpass 100 million units.

According to UBI Research, the shipment of Samsung Display’s OLED panel for smartphone in Q4 2016 was 98 million units, an increase of 6% from the previous quarter and 15% from the same time last year.

UBI Research announced “A3line invested in 2016 will operate starting from the 1st quarter, and accordingly the shipment of Samsung Display’s smartphone AMOLED panel is expected to surpass 100 million.”

In addition, Chinese TV set companies and many smartphone set companies such as Apple have an increasing demand for AMOLED panels, and especially the demand for flexible AMOLED panels to be applied to high-end smartphone is expected to increase significantly.

Meanwhile, Samsung Electronics announced at the Q4 conference call that the sales of OLED panels increased slightly compared to the previous quarter, and it plans to promote sales by actively responding to the rise in OLED panel adoption of major smartphone clients.

LG’s OLED TV is expected to surpass 15% among total TV sales this year

During the conference call that reported operating profits, LG Electronics announced on January 25 that OLED TVs accounted for below 5% of its total TV sales volume in 2015, but more than doubled in 2016 and achieved 10%. In addition, the share of LG’s OLED TV in the premium market over 2,000 dollars has rapidly increased, and it has solidified its leadership in the high-end OLED TV market. Therefore, LG said OLED TV sales are expected to rise and accordingly account for more than 15% of its total TV sales in 2017.

Also, LG Electronics’ sales reached 55.3660 trillion won, and its total operating profit last year was 1.3378 trillion won. The company’s annual sales dropped 2 percent from 2016(56.5090 trillion won), while its operating profits increased 12.2 percent from last year(1.1923 trillion won).

Especially, the sales of HE(Home Entertainment) division rose 0.2% from last year(17.3976 trillion won) thanks to an increased demand for TVs and premium TV sales. Despite rise in panel prices, LG reported a record operating profit of 1.2374 trillion won through its premium product sales and strategy to improve cost competitiveness.

Accordingly, LG Electronics announced it plans to continuously release premium TVs by adding such premium functions as IoT to existing products. It is also planning to expand its business focusing on the expansion of sales markets through globalization, going beyond its sales in Korea and USA.

Meanwhile, LG Electronics plans to start operating the E4 phase2 26K Gen8 OLED production line that it invested in 2016, in the second quarter this year. In addition, OLED TV price is expected to drop, and accordingly the OLED TV market is likely to increase significantly.

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.

Samsung Electronics, Recorded operating profit of 1. 34 trillion won in display business

Samsung Electronics announced that they recorded sales of 7.42 trillion won and operating profit of 1.34 trillion won in display business through 4Q 2016 having been progressed on the 24th. This company recorded large scale surplus that exceeded continuous 1 trillion won for two consecutive quarters following last 3Q.

According to Samsung Electronics, this company says that sales has been increased and cost-improving activities were continued through customer diversification in case of 4Q 2016, and also sales volume of OLED panel was increased to a small extent compared to previous quarters. Sales price strength has been continued in demand-supply stability in case of LDC business, and they reveal that business results have been improved indebting to sales increase of high value-added products such as UHD/large size etc. together with yield/cost betterment. In case of TV panel sales, the volume was decreased a little compared to previous quarters from its quantity and areas all together.

Samsung Electronics lights up a business schedule that they will propel growth compared to previous year by expanding exterior supplies of high-end products including Flexible etc. based on technology leadership and securing capacity of Samsung Electronics in 2017 OLED business. They estimate that needs on high value-added Flexible will be greatly expanded according to form-factor innovation of Smartphone.
Besides, they convey their words such like constant increases of China companies’ capacity in LCD business and deepened competition between companies have been made, but they will endeavor to sustain stable profitability through expansion of product sales and design differentiation including Frameless and Curved while strengthening competitiveness of high value-added products including UHD/large size etc.

Samsung Electronics executed 25.5 trillion won in facility investment, and 9.8 trillion won was invested to display business, and also 2017 investment volume of facilities was not fixed yet.

They disclose schedules of propelling sales increase by positively responding to needs of client products according to increasing OLED adaptation by main Smartphone clients in OLED business in the first quarter, and also carry forward performance enhancement through P-Mix efficiency. Though demand decrease of LCD business is estimated owing to entering off-season, tight supply-demand looks to be continued, and they delivers their words like they will devote securing profitability through expanding high value-added product sale and constant boosting of cost competitiveness.
Thus, Samsung Electronics lights up that they will secure profitability by expanding high value-added products such as UHD/ large size/Curved etc.

In 2016 Q4, Samsung Electronics recorded sales of 90 million cellular phones and 8 million tablets, and they forecast that sales of cellular phones will be increased in the first quarter compared to previous quarter, and sales of tablet will be decreased. They explain that sales of LCD TV recorded 16 million TV, and 40% was decreased by influences of seasonal reason in the first quarter, but one-digit growth of early stage is expected annually.

On the other hand, they say that Samsung Electronics does not consider additional disclosure of LCD production line at now while explaining that closure of L7-1 (LCD) line end of last year was not related to Sharp as a matter of willing to do OLED switch before supply stop of Sharp according to Samsung Electronics. In relation with OLED capability, they deliver policy of willing to secure it according to market and customer needs.

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