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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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.

CES2019, the biggest issue of TV is LG Electronics OLED TV R

Reporter : Daejeong Yoon

The CES, held in early January of each year, is the most important event to understand all of the consumer electronics trends of the year. This year, TV makers from all over the world exhibited a variety of products to attract spectators to the event.

When OLED TV occupied more than 50% of the premium TV market with more than $ 2,000, the LCD TV industry sought to prevent the OLED TV market from expanding by exhibiting 8K LCD TVs to CES. However, the attention and admiration of the spectators were poured into OLED TV R.

The 8K TV market began to open slightly from last year, in preparation for the 8K broadcast starting from the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. LCD TV companies displayed 8K LCD TVs of various sizes to preoccupy the market with the keyword of 8K. LCD TV, however, has not been recognized by viewers as a new TV product since Sharp has already exhibited steadily.

Another reason is OLED TV R displayed by LG Electronics. In the main body with built-in speaker, OLED TV rises up and goes down again. A lot of people came to see OLED TV R to shoot.

 <LG Electronics, OLED TV R>

Last year, micro LED TVs became more prominent. In addition to Samsung Electronics, Sony, TCL and Hisense exhibited micro LED TVs this year. It seems that the gap of micro LED TV technology between Korean companies and Chinese companies is only about one year. In the micro LED TV market based on assembly technology that does not require special manufacturing technology, China, which is the world’s best LED industry and infrastructure, is expected to dominate the market soon.

However, as LG Display has a unique OLED TV manufacturing technology, which has a very complicated panel structure and manufacturing process, the technological gap between Korea and China is expected to be more than five years difference. In this situation, OLED TV R, released by LG Electronics, once again realizes that Korea’s OLED technology is the best in the world.

On the other hand, TV companies’ display of OLED TVs, except for LG Electronics, has stagnated. These companies are not yet receiving 8K OLED panels and rollable OLED panels from LG Display. Even Sony does not have any special features, only OLED TVs that are well known so far.

As a result, the CES TV show was notable only for LG Electronics.

It is judged that LCD TV using mini LED that TCL has released can compete with OLED TV in this exhibition. The contrast ratio is displayed as 1,000,000: 1 similar to OLED TV. Black is a very good product that has a vibrant color and contrast ratio similar to OLED TV. However, a holo-effect was found around the bright screen displayed on the black desktop. It is a phenomenon that the surroundings appear to spread brightly. As it is invisible to non-specialists, it is competitive in price and is a product that can compete well with OLED TVs.

< TCL, 8K QLED TV with mini LED>

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

■ Large OLED, differentiated products and supply expansion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

■ Commercial and automotive displays, Fostering first-class business

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Competition for definition in Premium TV market is getting fierce.

Competition for definition of TV between LG OLED TV and Samsung QD-LCD TV is getting fierce in Premium TV market.

Samsung announced that ‘color volume 100%’ of QD-LCD TV has been verified from VDE(Verband Deutscher Elektrotechniker), a standard verification association in Germany for the first time in the world. Color volume is a new standard designed to measure even the variation of colors which get different according to brightness as the range of brightness which TV can express gets wider and it’s a standard to measure how accurately TVs realize the intention of an original author. Samsung announced that VDE verified color volume 100%, measuring color area and brightness level of QD-LCD TV in a 3 dimensional form.

<Samsung QD-LCD TV which acquired verification of ‘color volume 100%’ from VDE in Germany>

On the other hand, in last Feb. 20, through its blog, LG also announced that it has received an evaluation of excellence for definition of OLED TV in items of Black, Peak brightness, Color, etc. in the result of a recent definition test of OLED and QD-LCD from Burosch in Germany, a professional evaluation company for video technology and display. Products whose definition were evaluated are TV 65E6 and QD-LCD TV 65KS9800, and LG announced that OLED TV recorded 5 points out of 5 in major test results such as HDR and SDR definition.

<Comparison of Space Scene Definition of QD-LCD TV(Left) and OLED TV(Right), Source : LG Display blog.>

As Samsung and LG launch premium TV in a row, a real competition to hold a lead in premium TV market has started. On 27, by Bestbuy, price of 55 inch C7 of OLED TV which LG launched this year is US$ 3,499.99, and US$ 2,499.99 of 55 inch Q7 of Samsung and Q8 which is more luxury type than that is getting closer to US$ 3,499.99, so the competition for definition is predicted to get more fierce in the future.

Many people are paying attention to which one will hold a lead in the competition for definition of premium TV between QD-LCD TV which hold a lead in the aspect of brightness and OLED TV which holds a lead in the contrast range, response speed, etc.

OLED TV, fiercely chasing SUHD TV Price

OLED TV price is being fallen continuously, and is fiercely chasing SUHD TV price. In Amazon (www.amazon.com), the price of 65inch 4k UHD OLED TV (OLED65B6), LG Electronic model of March 2016, was US$ 3,147 based on December 2016, and US$ 1,600 appeared to be dropped compared to US$ 4,747, price of July 2016. The price of 55inch 4k UHD OLED TV (OLED5B6) was US$ 2,097, and US$ 800 was fallen compared to US$ 2,897, the price of July 2016.

SUHD TV price of Samsung Electronics which was similar premium product series was US$ 1,648 in 65inch (UN65KS8000), and differences of US$1,499 turned up compared to same size UHD OLED TV of LG Electronics. Specially, US$ 966 difference appeared compared to same-size UHD OLED TV of LG Electronics as US$ 1,131 of 55inch (UN55KS8000), and the gap could been seen as being narrowed to below US$ 1,000.

<Price comparison of LG Electronics, LG Electronics 65inch, 55inch TV, Source: UBI Research>

If comparing price difference between UHD OLED TV based on 2016 65inch model and SUHD TV, about US$ price differences come out based on July 2016, a fact appeared such like OLED TV price was quickly narrowing price difference with SUHD TV price in 55inch and 65inch as well as difference of about US$ 1,500 based on December 2016.

On the other hand, LG Display is expected to really operate mass production line of E4 phase2 26K Gen8 OLED having been invested in 2016 from the 2nd quarter, and thus an estimation is made such like OLED TV price will be dropped further.

Besides, participating companies of OLED TV camp in CES 2017 were increased remarkably, and OLED TV market is being activated in trend because large manufacturer like Sony joined with several European companies especially, and thus it is expected that price drop of OLED TV will occupy advantageous position in competitions with LCD TV in premium TV market.

[CES2017] The load of the TVs : Return of the king

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Sony was just kept premium TV market because they were left behind by Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics in middle-price TV market and not released new products in low-price market also, although they have been dominated the TV market until 10 years ago. But, Sony has splendidly returned with OLED TV at CES2017.

TV business was the face of Sony due to having the strongest aspects in the TV market, they always were located at the main showroom as the center during CES and IFA. However, the TV business has been downsized due to years of deficits on it and the camera replaced the TV spot in CES2016 and IFA2016 last year. Many attendees at the show felt that Sony was into the process of falling out of the TV business and thought it would turn into a camera company.

Sony, however, declared that they will be a king once again in the TV market at CES2017. TV defeated the camera and took the middle of the entrance of the exhibition hall again. But this TV is not an LCD that Sony has ever sold, but an OLED TV.

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Sony has unveiled its BRAVIA OLED adapted a 4K HDR process X1 on 77-inch and 65-inch Crystal Sound OLED panels which is directly developed by Sony and produced by LG Display.

There was different from the OLED TV seen so far. In short, it’s “WOW”. It can be described as the most beautiful and elegant TV in the world. It was not comparable to the existing BRAVIA LCD TV displayed next to it. That LCD TV has the highest image quality among LCD TVs by using Quantum dot technology. Nevertheless, these LCD TVs have fallen into low grades unlike those of newly introduced OLED TVs.

A Sony representative of the exhibition said that the points to decide the OLED TV business was due to the meeting with Sony’s desire for image quality, and that mass production has not been decided yet but it will be after the second quarter of this year.

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So far, the OLED TV market has been dominated by LG Electronics under leading, but with the attending of Sony, the OLED TV market is expected to grow even further.

The premium TV market will be led by LG Electronics and Sony focused by OLED TVs.

LG Display, announcement on development trend for OLED TV and latest WOLED device for lighting in IDW 2016

In IDW(International Display Workshops) 2016 held in Fukuoka Japan from December 7~9, LG Display announced on the development trend for OLED TV and latest WOLED device for lighting, and mentioned that the color area of latest WOLED device for OLED TV increased from 114% to 129% compared to sRGB, and 90% to 99% compared to DCI. In the paper, 3 stack structured 55” UHD OLED TV shows 150cd/m2 in full white screen, 500cd/m2 of luminance in peak white screen, and showed that it lowered the power consumption by 20% compared with 2 stack structure.

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<LG Display’s 2 stack and 3 stack WOLED lighting structure, IDW 2016>

Also by introducing WOLED for lighting, LG Display mentioned that lighting WOLED has 3 stack tandem structure with green-red/blue/green-red, where WOLED for OLED TV has 3 stack tandem structure with blue/yellow-green/blue. It showed high efficiency of 90lm/w by applying Ag cathode and light extraction film which the reflectivity is high, and the color temperature is 2,850K which is in the warm white range, CRI showed characteristics of 88. This OLED light will start its production in 3rd quarter of 2017 in 5 generation line.

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<LG Display’s 2 stack and 3 stack WOLED light structure which applied light extraction film, IDW 2016>

Meanwhile, LG display exhibited 800 nit 65” UHD OLED TV during OLED summit 2016 held last September in San Diego where they gained much interest compared to 65” curved QD-LCD TV quality, and it is expected that they will introduce OLED TV with improved luminance with more than 1,000 nits next year.

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<Comparison of black quality between 65inch OLED TV(left) and 65inch curved QD-LCD TV(right), LG Display, OLED Summit 2016>

Sony, Two OLED TV models will be released in 2017??

It is true that Sony, which had rumors, has entered the OLED TV market in 2017. Barry Young, CEO of the OLED association, told Forbes that Sony will launch two 55-inch and 65-inch OLED TVs in 2017.

The CEO, Barry Young will begin panel shipment from Q2 2017, and will begin full-fledged sales in Q3 or Q4. It plans that 55-inch 4K OLED TV will be about 80,000 units, and 65-inch OLED TV will be about 120,000 units.

Sony has previously released monitors based on LGD’s OLED panels, and it is reported that LGD will also supply OLED TV panels. Notable thing is the price of Sony OLED TV. According to Barry Young, Sony’s 55-inch OLED TV will cost about $ 1,999 and the 65-inch will cost about $ 2,999. This is respectively $300 cheaper than LG’s 55-inch UHD OLED TV price of $ 2,297 (OLED55B6, Amazon) and 65-inch UHD OLED TV price of $ 3,297 (OLED65B6, Amazon) released by LG Electronics in June 2016. In the premium OLED TV market, which is now dominated by LG Electronics, a price competition is expected.

It is unclear whether Sony’s OLED TV will be released at CES 2017, but it is expected to be confirmed at CES 2017 if production is certain. Due to Sony’s entry into the OLED TV market, LG Electronics is expected to aggressively price OLED TVs in 2017, it is focused on how Sony’s entry into the OLED TV market will contribute to the popularization of OLED TV and how it will affect the display industry.

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<Sony’s PVM-X550 HDR 4K OLED monitor, source:digitalmediaworld.tv>

OLED TV, leading a new paradigm in the display market

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‘2016 OLED accounting seminar was held by Ubi industrial research on Dec 2nd in the Small& Medium Enterprise Hall. Lee, ChungHoon, the president of Ubi industrial research said, “OLED is leading a new paradigm in the display market, advancing a perfect black color and fast response rate compared to LCD. Most LCD manufacturers have introduced QD-LCD with the enhanced color reproduction, compared to the existing LCD. However, OLED is also in the evolution of display technology ”

LG electronics set up dark light at the booth in CES 2016; but later in IFA 2016 it displayed OLED TV, brightening the booth to show the confidence in luminance of OLED TV. Via CES 2016 and IFA 2016 the luminance has been improved from 600 nits to 800 nits, and next year OLED TV with higher than 1,000 nits will be launched.

The president Lee said, “In the current TV market, the unit price of OLED panel is triple the price of LCD and QD-LCD is double. If LG display reduces the OLED panel price, LCD manufacturers will be threatened due to the competitive pricing and technology of OLED panel.”

LCD manufacturers need to prepare marketing strategy for QD-LCD to be distinguished from OLED. Certainly there has been a market interest increased in QLED which seems, however, to be at a very early development stage like an embryo in the product life cycle. The soluble OLED will be introduced in the market earlier than QLED, the development of which prospectively takes at least 10years.

The primary issues of OLED TV can be summarized in three elements-size, price and luminance. The current OLED TV size is mainly 55”, but it is important to form a market for 65” and larger. The investment in Gen 10 line is necessary but has not been well established yet. As far as the price is concerned, if the ink jet technique is implemented in a new production line the price can be significantly reduced. The luminance can also be improved by 3-stack and top emission structure.

The shipping amount in 2016 is 390million, and will reach 1.5billion in 2020 in prospect. Flexible OLED panel will lead the high-end market while a rigid OLED panel for the mid-end market. The revenue will grow from 17trillion in 2016 to 60trillion in 2020. The estimate can be accomplished if Chinese manufacturers such as BOE, Tianma and GVO successfully advance and continue to grow in the market.

The current OLED market is growing in the mobile-oriented market, however, since 2018 TV will be stably settled and well established in the future.

2017 will be an important year to be able to emphasize the innovation of OLED to consumers

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<Lee Woo-keun, a senior researcher at LG Economic Research Institute>

Lee Woo-keun, a senior researcher at LG Economic Research Institute, predicted that the year 2017 will be an important year to be able to emphasize the innovation of OLED to consumers, in the seminar for the 2016 OLED evaluation held at the Yeouido Small & Medium Business Center in Seoul, hosted by UbI Research on last December 2.

He added “LG is leading the OLED TV market in the premium TV market ahead of next year’s CES, but we will have to keep an eye on the impact of Sony’s joining” as one of the notable issues in large-sized OLED panels, and he continued “as there is still a fundamental expectation for Sony’s image quality among existing consumers, we will have to pay attention to what innovative appearance Sony’ OLED TVs will show and how they can appeal to consumers.

Referring to the adoption of OLED panels in Apple’s iPhone8 (tentative name) in the mobile phone market, as a small and medium issue, he said “it is important how to realize OLED display on Apple iphone 8, and how much impact it will have on consumers through this”. He said “if we could not show the innovation distinguishing it from existing LCDs despite adopting OLEDs, consumers’ expectations for OLEDs may be diminished,” emphasizing that it should draw meaningful responses to OLEDs from consumers’ perspective .

It is expected that Apple will launch iPhone applying flexible AMOLED panels in 2017, and Sony is also being confirmed to continuously review its entry into the OLED TV business. In 2017, it is expected that the number of set-makers launching OLED-applied products will increase more. In the situation that consumers are expecting a ‘completely new thing owned only by OLED products’, which is entirely different from existing LCD products, through various media reports and rumors, the year 2017 seems to be an important year to emphasize the innovation of OLED and to promote its merchantability.

BOE and CSOT, Acquired the China first title through the panel for OLED TV

In ‘18th China High- Tech Fair,’ BOE collected a big topic by exhibiting 55” UHD OLED TV of Skyworth to which 55” UHD OLED Module was applied.

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CSOT also publicized 31inch curved FHD OLED panel this time even though they have exhibited 31inch FHD OLED panel in the past.

About 80inch was realized by attaching 3 Curved OLED panels, and resolution was 5760*1080 along with 150nits brightness.

Two enterprises manufactured the product together by applying WRGB+CF structure having been produced massively in LG Display.

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In this exhibition, BOE and CSOT became to have first tile in Chinese enterprises with 55inch UHD OLED and 31inch curved OLED, and it is expected that it could be new drive of WRGB OLED panel market afterwards.

BOE and CSOT are manufacturing the panel for OLED TV in Gen8 pilot line of Hefei and Gen4.5 R&D line of Shenzhen, China respectively, and two enterprises are under positive consideration about large-scale OLED mass production lines.

Currently LG Display possesses mass production lines uniquely in relation with large-scale OLED panel market, and is leading OLED panel market alone. In future, BOE and CSOT are expected to join in large-size OLED panel market, and it is anticipated that market expansion through competitions in large-size OLEF panel market could be made.

Solution Process OLED TV is prospected to be launched on the market in 2019, targeting the Mid-end TV Market

According to “Market Entry Analysis for Solution Process OLED -The Possibilities and Opportunities” issued on November 14 by Ubiresearch, OLED TV, produced in solution process method, is prospected to be launched on the market in 2019.

Solution process is a technology which enables producing OLED panel in RGB pixel structure without any panel division on a device higher than G8, which major AMOLED panel producers has actively engaged in developing.

However, lamp efficiency and life cycle have no option to decrease because luminescent materials have lower purity than that of evaporation materials as luminescent materials applied to solution process should be mixed with various solvents in order to make the existing evaporation materials ink. Nevertheless, why major panel producers has actively engaged in developing solution process is that production cost can be declined as the usage efficiency of luminescent materials is high without using color filters and its structure is simpler than that of OLED panel using WRGB method.

According to the report, it is said that although developing luminescent materials for solution process OLED has been fully engaged, it should be more efficient than that of WRGB methods so as to enter the premium market. However, it seems substantially difficult that the capacity of solution process OLED surpasses that of WRGB as WRGB has been developed in top emission structure to improve its efficiency by over 20% and evaporation materials have also constantly been developed. Rather, based on proper level of life cycle and efficiency, it would be competitive to replace LCD targeting the mid-end TV market, according to the report.

Issues on OLED, QLED, hybrid QD, which can be applied to solution process and possibilities to enter the market, comparative analysis on the capacity of present solution process OLED, supply chain of QD industries, and major soluble OLED material producers are included in this “Market Entry Analysis for Solution Process OLED -The Possibilities and Opportunities” and it is expected to help the relevant producers understand the solution process industry.

Meanwhile, it is predicted that the market of large-scaled solution process OLED panel over 55 inch will begin in earnest being mass-produced as of 2019 and have accounted for the entire wide OLED panel market by approximately 15% growing by approximately US$ 1,000 million by 2021.

LG Display OLED TV, ‘Top in all fields’ according to an expert evaluation on picture quality

OLED TV of LG Display Co., Ltd won praise of the highest quality from DisplayMate, US display expert group.

On 4th (US Eastern time bases), DisplayMate opened an evaluation result which compared picture quality of 65inch OLED TV having UHD with that of the latest LCD TVs through posting titled ‘2016 LG OLED TV Display Technology Shoot-Out.’ in its homepage.

The comparative evaluation of DisplayMate was made over whole picture quality parts such as ‘Black expression,’ ‘HDR realization,’ ‘Viewing angle,’ ‘Color/Brightness accuracy,’ ‘Response speed,’ and ‘Reflectivity’ by objecting 65inch OLED TV (Model name: 65E6) that has UHD resolution and is currently on the market and the latest LCD TVs.

In ‘Black expression’ evaluation first, DisplayMate analyzed that OLED TV expressed perfect black color without leak of light phenomena by controlling each pixel differently from LCD TVs.

Specially, in the item ‘High Dynamic Range realization,’ DisplayMate praised OLED TV highly in that it realized HDR of infinite levels by exceeding high ones, while the latest LCD TVs have limitations of not being able to satisfy black and white color simultaneously owing to the light emitted from close backlight in spite of applying its local dimming technology.

In the viewing angle evaluation, DisplayMate analyzed that contrast changes did not occur even when watching OLED TV from the side, but phenomena of lowered color reproduction rate, reduced color shift and contrast were made in case of LCD TVs.

From the accuracy aspect on color and brightness, OLED TV had little color equation shown from input data and output images when doing analyses with HDTV standard (BT.709) having been decided by International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and Digital Cinema Initiatives, so it was analyzed as having a clear relative predominance vs. the latest LCD TVs.

In case of response speed, ghost image appeared in the latest LCD TVs after have shot dynamic video (2,544 pixel shift per second) with 1/320 second, but OLED TV showed perfect images that had not blurs at all.

In addition, Displaymate analyzed that OLED TV realized vivid picture quality having not light reflection in home background where effects of lamination and sunlight were large because reflectivity on exterior lighting was only 1.1%. This was derived from excellent results of about 2 times compared to LCD TVs whose reflectivity was 2.2%.

From evaluated results by DisplayMate, a fact that OLED TV of LG Display have a different technology in dimensions by exceeding LCD is proved again such like ① OLED TV realizes perfect black color by spontaneous emission, ② Belongs to an optimistic TV in realizing HDR, ③ Expresses same color without its fading from any angle, ④ Boasts of perfect picture quality without distortion by expressing correct color, ⑤ Gives vivid screens without afterimages through quick response speed, ⑥ Has an aspect of being optimistic to home TV environment due to low reflectivity.

Doctor Raymond M. Soneira of DisplayMate said “In terms of picture quality, the 65inch OLED TV of UHD resolution having adopted OLED panel of LG Display is visually indistinguishable from prefect,” and paid OLED TV the highest compliment by adding “It is unquestionably the best performing TV that we have ever tested or watched.”

Meanwhile, DisplayMate is a display specialty media which operates US display expert group, and its influences are enormous to the degree that citation numbers of tech-related articles are a lot as ranking 61 following USA Today among media around the world, and Doctor Soneira who progressed this evaluation majored in Theoretical Physics in US Princeton University, and also is undertaking Representative of DisplayMate now as a display specialist who passed through AT&T Bell laboratory and CBS broadcasting station etc.


LG Elec., Premium Focused Strategy Results in Highest Profitability 2016 1Q

Source : LG Elec.

Source : LG Elec.

 

Hyunjoo Kang / Reporter / jjoo@olednet.com

LG Electronics Inc. (LG) today announced first-quarter 2016 operating profit of KRW 505.2 billion (USD 420.25 million), a 65.5 percent increase from the same period in 2015 on sales of KRW 13.36 trillion (USD 11.12 billion).

The LG Home Appliance & Air Solution Company contributed the largest amount, KRW 407.8 billion (USD 339.23 million) in operating income for the quarter, while the LG Home Entertainment Company earned KRW 335.2 billion (USD 278.84 million) in operating profit, both up significantly from the first quarter of 2015. The LG Mobile Communications Company posted an operating loss of KRW 202.2 billion (USD 168.20 million) primarily due to increased marketing expenditures for the new LG G5 flagship smartphone, while the LG Vehicle Components Company reported a modest loss of KRW 15.8 billion (USD 13.14 million) reflecting higher R&D investments.

LG’s overall global sales and profitability are expected to improve in the second quarter, with double-digit growth in revenues and higher profitability anticipated as LG continues its premium-focused strategy with LG SIGNATURE products, the LG G5 smartphone and 4K Ultra HD OLED TVs.

LG Home Appliance & Air Solution Company recorded sales of KRW 4.22 trillion (USD 3.51 billion) in the first quarter, an increase of 4 percent year-on-year due in large part to higher premium product sales and growth in its B2B operations. Operating profit and operating margin of 9.7 percent were the highest in the history of LG home appliances. Revenues in the Korean domestic market increased 11 percent from the same period the previous year thanks to strong performance of TWIN Wash washing machines, premium refrigerators and commercial air conditioners. Weaker demand caused by the drop in oil prices and unfavorable currency exchange movements negatively affected sales in markets such as the Middle East, South America and CIS, while revenues in North America and Europe remained strong.

LG Mobile Communications Company reported sales of KRW 2.96 trillion (USD 2.46 billion), a decline of 15.5 percent from the first quarter last year. Shipments of 13.5 million smartphones were 12 percent lower both year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter, mainly as a result of the business entering the slow season as well as declining shipments of existing flagship models due to high interest in the recently announced LG G5. Competition in the smartphone market will continue to increase, leading to further price erosion which LG plans to counter with a strong global push for the modular LG G5 smartphone and new mass-tier models such as its X series.

LG Home Entertainment Company reported revenues of KRW 4.33 trillion (USD 3.6 billion), down 2.3 percent from last year’s first quarter as TV shipments declined somewhat in the key markets of North America and Europe. A solid operating margin of 7.7 percent was accompanied by a 207 percent increase quarter-on-quarter in operating income, demonstrating strong evidence of the growing demand for premium OLED and 4K OLED TV products. Improved cost structure and cost competitiveness is expected to drive improved profitability in the next quarter.

LG Vehicle Components Company sales of KRW 592.9 billion (USD 493.2 million) represent a 55 percent year-on-year increase, on the back of LG’s growing automotive infotainment business, although profitability was negatively affected by increased R&D investments. The outlook for LG’s automotive business is positive, with higher expected demand for electric vehicle components and as LG expands its global reach and secures new customers.

Adoption of Idemitsu’s Material in LG’s OLED TV

Source : Idemitsu Kosan

Hyunjoo Kang / Reporter / jjoo@olednet.com

Idemitsu Kosan Co.,Ltd.´s (Head Office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; Representative Director and CEO: Takashi Tsukioka, hereinafter “Idemitsu”) OLED material will be used for LG Electronics Japan Inc.´s (Head Office: Chuo-ku, Tokyo; President: In-gyu Lee) latest OLED TV which will be released in Japan this coming mid-May. An

An OLED TV is a next-generation television that has a display which eliminates the need for backlight, which is different from an LCD TV.

Eliminating the need for backlight makes it possible to not only provide a curved and super-thin display but to also represent jet black without being affected by the illumination of the backlight.

Idemitsu has studied and developed OLED materials since the 1980s and has a particular advantage in the development of high-performance blue light-emitting materials. In addition, Idemitsu also has many related patents and manufacturing plants in both Japan and South Korea, and supplies materials to a variety of manufacturers.

After the agreement to form a strategic alliance regarding the OLED business in 2009, Idemitsu and the LG Group concluded an agreement for mutual cooperation in the field of OLED technology and device-related patent licensing in December 2014.

As leading companies, each company has achieved results in product development through their active efforts in this field.

As a result of concluding the agreement, Idemitsu´s OLED material will be used for LG Electronics´ latest television to be released in Japan following the world´s first large high-definition OLED TV which was released by LG Electronics in 2013.

Both companies will continue to provide technical cooperation to develop materials and products that will popularize the use of OLED displays.

[Analyst Column] CES 2016 Press Conference Comparison Analysis, Samsung Elec. TV vs. LG Elec. TV

Choong Hoon Yi, Chief Analyst, UBI Research

 

When Samsung Electronics, CES’ most important company, holds a press conference, members of the media wait longer than an hour anticipating the new world the firm will show. For LG Electronics’ press conference, the waiting period is relatively shorter.

 

However, the press conferences at CES 2016 were not as anticipated. In CES and IFA, the representative of electronic appliances companies is TV. However, the TV in Samsung Electronics’ event was merely the same SUHD TV as shown before. Instead, ICT area, such as VR, USB adaptor, and Samsung Pay, was emphasized. During the last year’s CES, Samsung Electronics received much acclaim with curved design added SUHD TV. The only difference for this year’s TV from CES 2015’s was the text ‘Quantum Dot Display’ underneath the SUHD.

 

 

Samsung Electronics is considered the rule maker of the market with new designs and aggressive marketing. The fact that Samsung Electronics only added the words quantum dot to the already applied SUHD TV LCD panel is analyzed to be a desperate measure demonstrating the LCD TV’s development limitation.

 

On the other hand, during their press conference, LG Electronics provided a vision where the TV market can have another growth spurt through the introduction of the improved OLED TV with 800 nit peak brightness. Particularly, NASA’s video of vivid deep black of the space and dynamic fiery red of the sun on the OLED TV brought the audiences to cheer and applause. What could only have been seen by astronauts can now be seen by everyone through OLED TV. This was an event where everyone could feel what a true display really is.

 

 

Of course, as the largest market of the consumer market is smartphone, it would be illogical to discuss Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics with only TV. However, Samsung Electronics’ smartphone business also remained stationery last year and all businesses, excluding semiconductor, is falling downward. As such, for Samsung fans who have high expectations it is of much concern.

 

The reason that the companies that led electronic appliance industry for the past half century such as Sony, Panasonic, and Toshiba are falling is because they did not have paradigm changing technology and product when the market was stalling. The same unfortunate sign is coming from Samsung Electronics.

 

Chinese set companies including TCL also brought quantum dot technology applied LCD TV to CES 2016. 8K TV was also exhibited. Although the picture quality control technology of the Chinese TV companies still falls short compared to companies such as Samsung Electronics, LC Electronics, and Sony, the set exterior reached similar standards and the price is less than 70% of the early starters’. The difference in the picture quality is difficult to distinguish for those who are not TV or display experts. The quality of Chinese products does not reflect the cheaper price, and cheap and good products are pouring in from China.

 

For Samsung Electronics that cannot produce OLED TV, in order to repeat the last year’s popularity in international events such as IFA in later this year, a big issue and product that can represent the company are urgently needed.

 

[Analyst Column] LCD Industry Administration to Worsen after 3 Years

Choong Hoon Yi, Chief Analyst, UBI Research

 

 

BOE is intending to carry out a large amount of investment in order to operate Gen10.5 LCD line from 2018. Meanwhile, key set makers including Apple, Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, and Panasonic are devising strategy to move from LCD to OLED for smartphone and premium TV displays. As such, it is becoming more likely for the LCD industry to be in slump from 2018.

 

At present, the area where LCD industry can create profit is LTPS-LCD for smartphone. The forecast smartphone market for this year is approximately 15 billion units. Of this, Samsung Electronics and Apple are occupying 20% and 15% of the market respectively. OLED equipped units are less than 2 billion.

 

However, from 2018 the conditions change greatly. Firstly, Apple, which has been using LCD panel only, is estimated to change approximately 40% of the display to OLED from 2017 earliest and 2018 latest. Apple is testing flexible OLED panels of JDI, LG Display, and Samsung Display, and recommending them to invest so flexible OLED can be applied to iPhone from 2017. The total capa. Is 60K at Gen6. As new investments for Gen6 line of Samsung Display and LG Display are expected to be carried out from 2016, supply is theoretically possible from 2017.

 

Source: UBI Research Database

Source: UBI Research Database

 

If 5inch flexible OLED is produced from Gen6 line, under the assumption of 50% yield at 60K capa. 65 million units can be produced annually, and approximately 1 billion units if the yield is 80%. If Apple’s iPhone shipment in 2017 is estimated to be around 2.7 billion units, within the 50-60% yield range approximately 25% of the display is changed to OLED from LCD, and if yield reaches 80% around 40% will change. The companies that are supplying Apple with LCD for smartphone, LG Display, JDI, and Sharp, are expected to show considerable fall in sales and business. These 3 companies could be reduced to deficit financial structure just from Apple’s display change

 

Furthermore, as Apple is not producing low-priced phones, under the assumption that future iPhone could all have OLED display, Apple could cause the mobile device LCD industry to stumble after 3 years.

 

Samsung Electronics also is gradually changing Galaxy series display to OLED from LCD. Of the forecast 2015 shipment of 3 billion units, 50%, 1.5 billion units, has OLED display, but Samsung Electronics is expected to increase flexible OLED and rigid OLED equipped products in future. Particularly, as Apple is pushing for flexible OLED application from 2017, Samsung Electronics, whose utilizing OLED as the main force, is estimated to increase flexible OLED usage more than Apple. It is estimated that all Galaxy series product displays will be changed to OLED from 2019.

 

 

Under these assumptions, of the estimated smartphone market in 2020 of approximately 20 billion units, Samsung Electronics and Apple’s forecast markets’ 7 billion could be considered to use OLED.

 

Samsung Display is strengthening supply chain of set companies using their OLED panels. Samsung Display is supplying OLED panels to diverse companies such as Motorola and Huawei as well as Samsung Electronics, and also expected to supply rapidly rising Xiaomi from 2016. If smartphone display is swiftly changed to OLED from LCD from 2017, Chinese display companies that are currently expanding TFT-LCD lines are to be adversely affected.

 

Additionally, in the premium TV market, LG Electronics mentioned that they will focus on OLED TV industry at this year’s IFA2015. As a part of this, LG Display is planning to expand the current Gen8 34K to 60K by the end of next year. Furthermore, in order to respond to the 65inch market, Gen9.5 line investment is in consideration. In the early 2015, Panasonic commented that they were to withdraw from TV business but changed strategy with new plans of placing OLED TV on the market in Japan and Europe from next year.

 

As Samsung can no longer be disconnected from the OLED TV business, there are reports of investment for Gen8 OLED for TV line in 2016. Although OLED TV market is estimated to be approximately 350 thousand units this year, in 2016, when Panasonic joins in, it is expected to expand to 1.2 million units. The OLED TV’s market share in ≥55inch TV market is estimated to be only 4% but in premium TV market it is estimated to be significant value of ≥10%.

 

 

 

 

If Samsung Display invests in Gen8 OLED for TV line in 2016, from H2 2017 supply to Samsung Electronics is possible. As OLED Gen8 line’s minimum investment has to be over 60K to break even, it can be estimated that Samsung Display will invest at least 60K continuously in future.

 

Under these conditions, LCD industry can only be in crisis. Firstly, it becomes difficult for Sharp to last. Sharp, which is supplying TFT-LCD for Apple’s iPhones and LCD for Samsung Electronics’ TV, will lose key customers. Secondly, BOE, AUO, and JDI, the companies selling LCD panels to these companies, are not ready to produce OLED and therefore damage is inevitable.

 

BOE is carrying out aggressive investment with plans to lead the display industry in future with operation of Gen10.5 LCD line. Therefore, from 2018, as the main cash cow items disappear, administration pressure could increase.

 

[Analyst Column] Korean TV Industry, Where to Go?

Dr Choong Hoon Yi, UBI Research Chief Analyst, ubiyi@ubiresearch.co.kr

 

 

Korean TV industry, according to recent reports by media, is showing a red light not being able to escape the deficit structure.

 

Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics possess high market share in costly premium TV market. However, in 30inch grade market, the two companies struggle against economically priced sets. In order to maintain sales, Samsung Elec. and LG Elec. are managing diverse product portfolio but business profit keep falling. Due to this, LCD panel stocks produced by Samsung Display and LG Display are steadily increasing.

 

LCD panel business is sinking into a pit.

 

What is the reason that Korea’s LCD TV and LCD business values can only become worse?

 

This can be forecast from looking at Japan’s TV and LCD business. Until the early 2000s, Japan was one of the leaders in electronics. However, Japan’s TV business is gradually dying out. Japan’s leading companies, Sony and Panasonic’s TV business began to be deteriorate because of Korean mid-low price products. In succession, Sony ended up spinning off the TV business, and Panasonic stopped TV business other than for domestic supply. Korean TV companies began to dominate the market. However, only a few years since then, Korean TV industry is losing commercial value, pushed aside by mid-low price products manufactured by China and others.

 

Second is display investment. As Japanese TV industry began to crumble, Japanese display companies had no choice but to stop the investment. The companies could not see a way to make profit through investment even if TV market grew as client companies’ panel purchasing power fell. Korea is the same. Samsung Elec. and LG Elec.’s TV business profitability deterioration led toward Samsung Display and LG Display’s halting the investment. On the other hand, Chinse display companies began Gen10.5 line investment. TV industry relies on assembly business and business network and therefore initial investment cost is low. In comparison, display industry is high risk as it requires large scale investment from early stages. If the business profit falls without investment cost return, companies face great loss and business closure is also not easy.

 

The third reason that Japanese TV companies are dying out is because they could not produce premium TV. Sony, which lost its competitiveness in LCD TV, tried to strengthen its market leadership through 4K TV. However, the brand value was already down and with the lack of marketing value, Sony easily gave up the market to companies in pursuit such as Samsung Elec. and LG Elec. LCD TV already had no difference in quality whether it was produced by a Korean or Japanese company, and brand value order had switched. LCD TV quality produced by Chinese companies is already reached the top. They are no longer companies who produce cheaper knockoffs. Furthermore, LCD panel production technology of Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and China can now be deemed equal.

 

The final reason that stops Japanese TV business from securing market is that they failed to suggest differentiation point in premium TV. Fundamentally, differentiation is not possible for LCD TV. The biggest differentiation factors in the current TV market are picture quality and design. Any company can produce thin LCD TV and curved LCD TV. Panel size, resolution, and QD-LED using color gamut that LCD can actualize can no longer be differentiated technology. The difference of LCD panel and TV manufacturing technology between Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and China is already within a year. No matter what kind of product is released, market control has one year of expiration period. Considering the promotion period required in the market is approximately 6 months, the period where profit can be made is shortened even further.

 

So what is the solution for the Korean TV industry to survive?

 

As I have mentioned dozens of times for several years, what is left is OLED TV. What LCD cannot do in terms of picture quality and design, with OLED it is possible. Therefore, only the non-LCD products can enjoy the key factors of differentiation in premium TV market.

 

Existing premium TV is IPTV, a market that Japanese TV companies have been pursuing since early 2000s. Internet connection is possible through TV and allows for exchange of information in both directions. The basic concept of IPTV is watching TV while searching the information on TV via internet. But how useful is this concept at present? The usefulness of IPTV is becoming increasingly low as smartphone is used to search information, use the internet, and even watch TV. With no reason to use the internet via TV, TV companies should seriously consider whether TV with high white brightness is really needed. Rather than white TV with high brightness, it is time to place more importance in the functions of the TV itself. TV screen only uses 20-30% of full white brightness. Films, with outdoor shooting, falls under 20%, and for contents shot at night, black is more important.

 

Considering ‘blackness’ and design, anyone can find where the solution lies. If the foolish notion of trying to make OLED as bright as LCD is abandoned, there is hope.

 

LG OLED UHD TV, SID 2015

LG OLED UHD TV, SID 2015

 

Samsung OLED UHD TV, IFA 2013

Samsung OLED UHD TV, IFA 2013

[Analyst Column] The Reason Samsung Must Undertake OLED TV and Technology Course Analysis

Yi Choong Hoon Yi, Chief Analysis / UBI Research

In 2014, as the revenue and business profit fluctuated greatly per quarter, Samsung Display carried out management evaluation with BCG. One of the conclusions is known to be Gen10 LCD investment together with large area OLED for TV investment.

Gen10 LCD line investment is seen to be a countermeasure against Chinese display companies that continue their aggressive investment and display industry that is expanding in information society. It is analyzed that the large area OLED line investment is to prepare for the OLED TV market growth which has superior picture quality compared to LCD and to control their biggest rival company LG’s WRGB OLED TV market expansion which is maintaining their investment.

These two plans are obvious conclusions that any display expert can draw.

However, any experts who know Korea’s display would recognize that Gen10 LCD line investment is not suitable for Korea. This is because even if Korea expands the market share by investing in Gen10 LCD line they will still be weak against Chinese display companies in price. Korean display companies only sell high quality goods and 90~95% is the limit of yield rate. In comparison, in China the size of the population who can easily purchase expensive high quality TV and the consumers who demands lower priced goods are both huge; faulty display panels have a place in Chinese market. Chinese display companies can also sell lower quality panels through close relationship with lower price TV production companies with factories in China. Theoretically, this can lower the panel price as yield rate close to 100% can be achieved. Furthermore, support from Chinese government and cheap factory construction cost increases price competitiveness of Chinese display companies even more.

The reason Japanese display companies had no choice but to give up LCD market to Korean display companies was also because they could not continue LCD investment with their difficulty in price competitiveness. Although Sharp vigorously continued investing until Gen10 line, the result was decision to sell small size LCD line for mobile device due to the accumulated deficit.

If Samsung Display decides on Gen10 investment, it is highly likely that they will follow similar path to Sharp’s, increasing the risks rather than sales. It is more effective for Samsung Electronics to lead TV industry using Chinese companies’ cheap LCD panel with good definition rather than producing TV using expensive Korean LCD panels with good picture quality. The fact that there are no comments regarding Gen10 investment within Samsung Display can be interpreted that there are experts with good understanding of display industry.

Unlike the current Samsung Elec. business strategy where the focus is exclusively on quantum dot technology applied LCD SUHD TV, the large size line investment decision for OLED TV production is a conclusion that requires change in Samsung’s business strategy. In CES 2015, Samsung Elec. exhibited SUHD TV and OLED TV in comparison and highlighted LCD TV’s superiority in picture quality. If SUHD TV is more competitive than OLED TV, it is not worth investing any further.

However, the story is different in smart phone market. This is because Samsung Elec.’s flagship model Galaxy series all use AMOLED. One of the differentiation strategies that Samsung Elec. is using when selling Galaxy series is OLED. Wireless department of Samsung Elec. expanded the market share to 20% using the smart phone with the word ‘OLED’ attached. Most recently, flexible OLED applied Galaxy S6 Edge is hugely popular.

Samsung Elec.’s smart phone business department, IM, is recording twice the amount of revenue of VD business department that produces TV. Therefore that VD department’s marketing method of emphasizing OLED has worse definition than LCD is contradictory since IM department is marketing their product by valuing the superior picture quality of OLED over LCD. If QD-LCD is good then obviously the panel for Galaxy S series also has to be replaced to QD-LCD. Insisting that OLED has better picture quality in smart phone and LCD is superior in TV is mutually incompatible. This kind of dual behavior could result in Samsung Elec.’s rationales to be considered as ones by the boy who cried wolf. For the future expansion of Samsung Elec.’s smart phone market, VD department also has to produce OLED TV and establish the equation of ‘Samsung Elec. = OLED’ in order to complete the business strategy.

This is the reason Samsung must undertake OLED TV.

Nevertheless, problems are numerous. OLED TV produced by Samsung Elec. in 2013 was deemed to be marginally inferior in terms of completeness and picture quality compared to LG Electronics’ OLED TV by UBI Research’s Picture Quality Analysis Report and an article in OLEDNET. Since then Samsung Elec. halted OLED TV production practically acknowledging that their own OLED TV could not compete against LG Elec.’s product. The reason for this could be attributed to TV’s lower completeness but the fundamental reason lied in the fact that Samsung Display’s RBG OLED panel production method and characteristics could not compete against LG Display’s WRGB OLED in picture quality and competitiveness.

RGB OLED for Large area uses fine metal mask similar to small size AMOLED, and therefore OLED panel production is not possible using Gen8 mother glass and has to use evaporator for Gen8 glass cut into 6. As LG Display’s WRGB OLED manufactures pixels using white OLED with color filter fine metal mask is not required which allows for OLED panel production in Gen8 without cutting. Compared to the fact the rival company LG Display is using 1 Gen8 evaporator, Samsung Display requires 6 evaporators. The increased number of evaporators obviously leads to an increase in investment cost and the panel production cost cannot but be higher than LG Display.

Even in TFT production cost, Samsung Display is weaker in comparison to LG Display. LTPS-TFT process used by Samsung Display requires 8~9 mask processes but LG Display is using oxide TFT which needs 4~5. Therefore, it has an advantage of minimizing the investment cost when LCD line is transformed to OLED line. For Samsung Display to transform existing LCD line to OLED line, they have to add a huge amount of capital to the LTPS-TFT production. If they transform the existing 200K LCD factory to OLED line, the capa. also decreases to 90K, but LG Display can maintain the 200K volume without any loss. When OLED is produced transforming the existing LCD line, LG Display does not need additional factory construction but it is calculated that Samsung Display has to build another factory of equal size.

In encapsulation process, LG Display, which uses hybrid encapsulation technology, remains advantageous. This completes the OLED panel production by attaching adhesive film laminated metal foil on top of passivation which is a moisture proof structure made with 2~3 layers of passivation after OLED device production. The OLED panel for TV that was mass produced by Samsung Display in 2013 also used hybrid encapsulation structure. The difference was that the top substrate was glass. However, as Samsung Display was accused by LG Display for appropriating their encapsulation technology, Samsung is currently developing dam & fill method of hybrid encapsulation technology. Samsung Display’s dam & fill hybrid encapsulation technology shares the part of forming passivation layer on top of device with LG Display. However, after that Samsung Display applies curing agent using ODF (one drop filling) method to the dam made with organic materials on the outside of the panel. They then attach the glass substrate and harden. Although it would be better if the dam production could occur simultaneously as PDL (pixel define layer) process, generally as PDL layer is on top of TFT and dam structure is on the outside of the panel, height difference could develop leading to difficulty in upper substrate attachment. Furthermore, if the dam height is lower than PDL’s, it is unfavorable for the curved design which is the latest TV trend. Accordingly, if the dam formation process ensues after passivation is complete, further mask process is necessary which increases cost due to the added equipment investment. Samsung Display’s encapsulation process is a continuous operation whereas LG Display’s process can attach the coring film to the metal foil and send the selected high quality products to attachment process; for yield rate management, LG Display is better suited. Dam & fill method has to fill the liquid curing resin first before the attachment of upper substrate. This means that several hundreds of um thickness of glass substrate attachment is more appropriate rather than attaching metal foil of dozens of um thickness. In that case, metal foil cannot be used and additional heat sink materials are required. In encapsulation process, LG Display technology is better for mass production and has an advantage of being able to lower the production cost.

In conclusion, for Samsung Display to re-enter OLED panel for TV industry, rather than using their existing technology of LTPS-TFT, RGB OLED, and damn & fill encapsulation, it is better to use the technology being used by LG Display such as oxide TFT structure, WRGB OLED structure and lamination method of encapsulation structure that uses adhesive film.

To challenge large area OLED panel industry again, Samsung Display placed the existing large area OLED team under research lab led by their top OLED expert SungChul Kim. Although there has been no official discussion regarding OLED panel production technology directional course, using the same technology as LG Display’s would be advisable in order to succeed.

In terms of resources, Samsung Display, with their many years of OLED panel mass production experience and several thousands of top quality OLED engineers, is superior compared to LG Display.

Only the patents and decision making processes are left.

AMOLED Panel Market, to Reach US$ 46 Billion by 2020

2014 was the year preparing a platform to develop the OLED industry in full scale.

 There was a prevalent doubt in the industry until 2014 concerning whether the OLED TV is able to break into the market or not. However, as LG Electronics successfully released the UHD OLED TV, the set manufactures were classified with the companies against LG and incapable of producing the OLED TV. Under this circumstance, the majority of TV set manufacturers including Samsung Electronics exhibited the Quantum dot (QD) BLU LCD TV at CES2015. The night view screen which was the exhibition concept only appeared on the OLED TV was employed on the QD LCD TV chasing the high contrast ratio just like the OLED TV.

In the display for a mobile device, the OLED succeeded in establishing an exclusive market with G Flex2 and Galaxy Note Edge with emphasis on the flexibility feature that LCD cannot even attempt to imitate.

According to the ‘’2015 OLED Display Annual Report’’ published by UBI Research on the 10th, the total revenue has decreased by 4% compared to the previous year due to the AMOLED panel shipments cut resulting from the low sales of Galaxy S5 in 2014.

 

Is the OLED industry already in crisis?

Though the OLED industry got wet with rain for a while in 2014, it will begin to solidify its place in 2015. Flexible OLED and TV are the alternatives.

UBI Research methodically analyzed and took a close look at the future of flexible OLED on the ‘’2015 OLED Display Annual Report’’. There are a number of display manufacturers developing products in view of that the rollable display is the final stage of a flexible display. But if the rollable display is to be applied on a mobile device, the cultural components are to go back to the analog age and in terms of technology, it may cause a heating problem as all parts excluding the display are concentrated on the body. For that reason, UBI Research prospected that the rollable product will be used on a large movable screen type display rather than on a mobile device.

150211_AMOLED Panel Market, to Reach US$ 46 Billion by 2020

 

Also the ‘’2015 OLED Display Annual Report” of UBI Research forecasts that the AMOLED panel market will grow at a CAGR of 30% reaching US$ 46 billion by 2020. Assuming the OLED panel for TV and tablet PC will take the sales share of 30% respectively in 2020, the report predicted that the key application for the OLED panel market will be a TV and a tablet PC following a smart phone.

The growth of AMOLED panel market is anticipated to accelerated after 2017 given that Chinese manufactures are also likely to invest in full scale between 2016 and 2017 to previse the Korea’s monopoly of AMOLED market.

150211_AMOLED Panel Market, to Reach US$ 46 Billion by 2020_그래프

 

<AMOLED Panel Market Prospect>